Kari Fulton is the National Campus Campaign Coordinator for the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative. Fulton works to support and mobilize diverse youth and organizations by building awareness of the connection between environmental and social justice issues.
Noted as a young leader to watch by Elle and Glamour magazine, Fulton was a member of the planning committee for both Power Shift 2007 and Power Shift 2009 the largest youth summits and lobby days on climate in US history. Through her work in the youth climate movement, Fulton was awarded the Brower Youth Award (Earth Island Institute) and the Damu Smith Power of One Young Professional Award (Deep South Center For Environmental Justice at Dillard University).
Currently, Fulton acts as a spokesperson for the Energy Action Coalition is a senior fellow with Young People For the American Way (YP4) and a member of the YP4 Leadership Academy. She is also a graduate of the John H. Johnson School of Communications at Howard University. In her spare time Fulton is a blogger on checktheweather.net and a member of the board of directors for the Lets Raise A Million Project and Dreaming Out Loud, an after-school program in DC.
Question: What does a national campus campaign coordinator do?
Kari Fulton: Well, I have a very unique position. So, I worked through the Energy Action Coalition which is a coalition of 50 diverse great organizations including EJCC, National Wild;ife Federation, League of Young Voters, Green for All, lots of really great groups and when we started, we saw that there was a need to draw attention to these issues on HBCU campuses and we also know as a HBCU graduate, there are some HBCUs who are definitely behind as far as the green agenda goes on campuses and campus sustainability.
So that's what I did so I took a unique task of saying, I want to take a lead in mobilizing students at historically black colleges and universities. So, what I do in a daily basis is I go out and I start the conversation and when I first started it was very much like, we're just going to throw you out there, do whatever you want. Go, figure it out, bring the people it, that's kind of what I did. So, I've just been gradually cultivating other strong leaders and some people take it from the perspective of how many can you bring, what can you do, how much can you do and I'm looking at who more than how many? Because the people that I work with and the people I'm connected to, I know that they are going to do even more than what I'm doing all ready and I'm just waiting to see the next political analyst that has such energy savvy, agenda and also comes from a perspective of living in an environmental justice community. And that's definitely going to happen with the young people that I'm working with today so I do lot of that, I do a lot of phone calls, sometimes I act as a mentor for some of my young students that I work with, I connect them to other opportunities and I really like I said just like with the block party, I work to try and meet people where their at.
So 80 percent by 2050 is not the rhetoric, that is going to bring the people that I work with on my team. But when I bring people in, I meet them where they're at, if you are interested in fashion, let's talk about how you can green your fashion and we've have that, we have students like Amel who hosted a eco fashion show during Power Shift 2009, which was our large conference where... it was largest climate conference, youth climate conference, ever, largest lobby day. So getting students out to do stuff like that or if you are into business, let's talk about sustainable business programs. Let me help you research sustainable MBA programs. If you are journalist let me connect you to other eco journalists or give you opportunities to showcase your work whether is on new media sites or in real publications. So that's kind of what I do
Recorded on: May 8, 2009