Online Activists, Organizers Converge on Providence
While Clean Water Action is known for its focus on protecting people’s environment, health, economic well-being and community quality of life, the organization also work with many partners and allies in an effort to create a more vibrant, active and sustainable society. Many of these friends from across the nation descended on Providence for the 6th Annual Netroots Nation conference, held at the Convention Center this June.
Netroots Nation is an annual gathering of grassroots organizers, bloggers, social justice advocates, labor organizers, and online activists from around the country. Netroots was named for its combination of ‘Grassroots’ emphasis and use of ‘Internet’ (or social media) technology. Through three days of panels, training sessions, keynote speakers, and film screenings, participants were educated and inspired to make positive change in the world. Not only does such a conference build awareness of our allies’ issues, but also it helps people work together on shared goals (and bring in millions of dollars in economic activity).
Clean Water Action was especially enthusiastic to have such an opportunity just walking distance from the Providence office. Through trainings on topics such as “The Power of Art and Cultural Organizing” to panels on “Saving Public Transportation: A Matter of Social Justice,” Clean Water Action staff who attended were able to learn best practices, make new connections, and hone organizing skills. Many of the training sessions are available for online viewing, www.netrootsnation.org/nn12-highlights-archive/
On the last day of the conference, Clean Water Action a service project for Netroots participants, collecting trash and recycling from along the edges of the water at Roger Williams Park. After discussing some of Rhode Island’s larger waste issues, cleanup volunteers heard from U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. Each expressed their appreciation for their volunteer hours working with Clean Water Action to preserve the beauty of the 427-acre park in South Providence.