Whether you’re two days or 20 years deep in environmental or social justice organizing, we all ask ourselves the same question day in and day out: why do I care?
It’s an important question — and the act of asking can be just as important as proclaiming your answer. You can feel an increased ability to contribute just by opening your heart and mind to your deeper values and motivations.
Rhiannon Fionn, creator of Coal Ash Chronicles, brings “Why I Care” to the social media scene in the spirit of story-sharing, collaboration, power building and advocacy. You can watch more than a dozen short clips submitted by moms, lawyers, Riverkeepers, doctors and many others who want to see coal ash cleaned up and stored in a safe manner.
“Why I Care” is a simple way for people to speak up for their interests when it comes to the dangers of coal ash. We are all connected to this toxic waste, whether you live near an ash impoundment or your electricity is sourced from a coal-fired power plant. I invite you to delve into why you care and share that with your family, friends and the world!
In November, I took this idea to Residents for Coal Ash Cleanup, a local group in Belews Creek, N.C., fighting to save their community from coal ash contamination by the nearby Duke Energy power plant. Seven residents shared their reasons for caring about coal ash. Take a minute to hear why Jeannie cares about the coal ash pond near her home.
She raises very valid points, considering there are more than 9,000 people that live within a 5-mile radius of the Belews Creek coal ash pond and thousands more who live downstream on the Dan River.
If you want to share why YOU care, here are some easy instructions:
1. Have a friend record a video of you with a phone or camera — make sure to do it in “landscape” mode on your phone and stand close to the phone so you get the best sound quality. Here are other phone video tips.
3. In the video, say your name, where you live and why YOU care about coal ash. Practicing before recording is always a good idea.
4. Upload the video file directly to your YouTube page or save it to your computer and then upload it to YouTube — you may have to make a Youtube account which is easy!
Include the tag “Coal Ash” in the video and use these hashtags for social media: #coalash and #whyicare. Rhiannon will find your video and add it to the full “Why I Care” playlist.
5. If you don’t know how or want to upload to Youtube, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-262-1500 and I can help you upload through Appalachian Voices’ channel.
6. There is a Dropbox option — contact me to get set up.
7. SHARE that video and ask others to speak up!
A full list of “Why I Care” videos can be found here.