Blog post by Oregon YEA Camper Jaliessa S.
Since attending YEA Camp, I have not only kept in touch with an amazing community of people, but been more active than ever. I have participated in protests, volunteered with organizations, met new activists, attended talks and workshops, joined book groups around social issues, and have been able to be the “lone nut” in order to initiate change that I profoundly care about. The community built at YEA Camp has definitely aided in my confidence and persistence. Knowing I have overwhelming support behind me is the push I need. I love running into campers, and have even connected with a few who were not in my session! In September, I protested the Ringling Bros circus, and I invited YEA Campers to come out and join and was surprised to see they not only came but brought more people!
The tools I have from my experience at YEA Camp have aided in my activism in many ways. My first time leafleting was not as intimidating, and was a greater success because of a workshop from YEA Camp. My confidence in my ability to be a leader when participating in actions has sufficiently risen. My overall faith in humanity has been renewed because of the amazing people I met at YEA. My experience last summer was one that has enhanced my capacity to press on and take action for what I believe in, no matter if I am a “lone nut.”
Jaliessa has done some other amazing things recently. She started a change.org petition asking Luna Bars to remove palm oil from their products because the production of palm oil is causing rainforest habitat destruction that is endangering several species, including orangutans. In less than a week, it already has over 300 signatures! Please sign and share her petition!
Since our workshop on arts activism at YEA Camp, where she learned about making zines, Jaliessa has also written three activist zines on topics that are important to her and had a poem published in the women of color zine Crosshairs. Great job, Jaliessa! We are proud to know you and have you in our community!