Click to download the MJ Spring Break VA Campus Coordinator Tool Kit
Here are some FLYERS & HANDBILLS!
“We are here because now is the time to take greater action as individuals, as communities, and as a country to create a sustainable future and stop the destruction of our homes.” -Wise County VA resident Hannah Morgan, while locked to a steel barrel blocking the entrance to a coal plant construction site, 2008
The only way to create a just society is to bring people together for that common cause. This toolkit will give you the background information and techniques to organize your campus or your community, and will help you to help us build the movement. We need people like YOU to help bring people to MJSB, to be part of the revolution. Ready to be a campus coordinator?
Significance of YOU
Many of those working in the Mountain Justice movement live in the coalfields, with family roots reaching back decades, even centuries, in Appalachia. Others come from outside the coalfields and outside of Appalachia. All have a passion and relentless spirit to stop the destruction and to build vibrant and sustainable economies in its place. Many remember the first time they witnessed the effects of MTR, and the profound personal effect it had on them. The strength of Mountain Justice lies with each and every person who chooses to participate. If you would like to join the movement, there are email lists to receive more information and monthly meetings to attend. We hope that as a first step you will attend Mountain Justice Spring Break!
How to Use This Toolkit
One of the main ideas behind Mountain Justice Spring Break is that America’s dirty coal secrets have remained hidden too long. Coming to MJSB allows you to see the injustices of coal first hand and then join the fight against them. Like all struggles, they are more fun when more fun people are there. This toolkit will help you recruit a group of good folks, raise money, raise some awareness, and raise some eyebrows. Even if folks can’t come to MJSB, you can use this as a chance to talk to your community about the destruction of mountaintop removal and the work of Mountain Justice and its role in the impending Just Energy Revolution.
Getting the Word Out
1. Talk to Student Organizations
Here are some things student groups can do to build interest in attending MJSB:
- Host an MTR and Lifecycle of Coal Awareness week or day, including showing films, raising money, and hosting speakers and discussion about coal industry abuse.
- Invite their members to MJSB
- Provide funds to their members who attend MJSB
- Get the word out to their listserv and Facebook sites, and at their group meetings.
Here’s how to do it:
- Build a list of all student groups on campus. Make sure to identify environmental groups, but be creative and broaden your search to include other groups that have large networks (i.e. the ski club, Greek system, religious groups, cultural groups, etc). Include contact info for group presidents (email, phone, office address). Feel free to use the outreach letter or create your own.
- Follow up with a phone call, or just stop by the next meeting. This is essential. Most people don’t respond just to an email.
2. Talk to Faculty, Staff and Administration
Professors and staff can:
- Help you find speakers for discussions/presentations/informational days
- Help you find funding for your trip and raise funds for grassroots struggles
- Identify students who want to attend
- Use of class / department listserves (preferably an email written by the faculty member encouraging students to attend)
- Make announcement in their class (aka “class rap”)
Here’s how to do it:
- Make a big list of professors and staff to go to. Include the professors you know, those from biology, environmental studies, history, and the directors of community service programs and sustainability programs. You can also include the Dean, the Vice President for student affairs, and even the campus President.
- Send each person an email.
- Follow up by phone or in person. Schedule a meeting to make a pitch for help.
- Be persistent and watch the magic happen!
3. Facebook & Other Social Networking Websites
Here’s how to do it:
- Create a MJSBVA 2013 Facebook group for your network.
- Search ‘Mountain Justice Spring Break VIRGINIA’ to find our official Facebook to catch announcements.
- Provide on-going updates about the conference to keep the group page fresh and dynamic.
- Use the MJSB website badge (available on mjsb.org) to provide a flashy link to the MJSB website from your website/Facebook/Myspace page.
- Post information about MJSB and links to the website on other groups’ pages.
4. Fliers, Posters, and Handbills
On the MJSBVA website (tab: Resources) you will find some pre-made fliers, posters and handbills. Quick tips:
- Be sure to add the name of your club, when you meet, and your contact information!
- Print them using old paper – collect old fliers (bright colors are better) and print MJSB fliers and handbills on the back side.
- Post fliers/posters early in the semester so people find out as soon as possible.
- Have MJSB handbills at all your events. These save paper and give people something to hold onto.
Fundraising and fun-raising
A great way to get the money to come to MJSB is to use the funds your school already has. You just need to find out where these funds are and convince them you are a worthy cause. No problem. However, when there is a limited pool of money for great opportunities like these you need to be sure to get working on it fast. So the sooner you get started getting grants the better.
Here’s how to do it:
- Determine your funding need so that you can ask for a specific number of students to be funded. Funding should be lined up as early as possible, therefore, plan on acquiring enough funding to transport the maximum number of students you think you can recruit.
- Build a list of all possible sources of funding with contact info. This should be very similar to the list you used for your recruitment drive.
- Email the appropriate officer in each organization you contact.
- Call to follow up and schedule a meeting time if necessary.
- Prepare your pitch and appropriate materials. Make sure to package the ask appropriately depending on who you are asking for money. Power Shift is focused on fighting global warming, but you could emphasize the leadership training element, P.R. value for the school, etc.
- Follow up until you get an answer.
Host an event/fundraiser
Hosting educational events and parties can be a great way to recruit for your group, raise funds for grassroots organizing, and get people excited about being part of a clean, just energy revolution. At all these events be sure to:
- Pick a high traffic area, or place where people congregate.
- Have big signs and information about Mountain Justice, Coal Industry Injustice, Global Warming, etc. to hand out
- Have laptops connected to the internet at the table so students can register right there.
- Have signup sheets and follow up with people the next day.
Rad Event Ideas can be found in the full, download-able toolkit
Here are ways on how to get to MJSB:
- Check out our ridepool board on the MJSBVA 2013 website
- Set up a carpool system with help from your students that are going that have cars
- Your school has tons of vehicles! Ask to borrow one or some! Get in contact with your transportation office.
- Can’t go wrong with public transportation. Greyhound, other buses, or train.