Next week, I’ll be joining Sierra Club’s new Executive Director, Ben Jealous, on a nationwide listening tour – an ambitious undertaking where we will meet and hear from our volunteers, chapter leaders, donors, and close community partners across the country.
I couldn’t be more excited that Ben suggested starting his Sierra Club tenure with this listening tour. Since the interview process, this has been one of his priorities. He understands complex organizations and movements, and that our power as an organization has always come from you: the grassroots volunteers and activists fighting for change in your communities, in our chapters. Ben wants to take time to listen before jumping in to his full responsibilities.
You can stay up to date with everything we’re doing by signing up to hear all about it. We’ll send you weekly updates and let you know how you can get involved in spreading the word.
On a personal level, I also look forward to meeting people face to face. I began my time as Sierra Club President during COVID and I, like so many, have missed the connection of being able to be together. That’s part of what makes this tour so important as we connect with as many chapters as possible in the coming weeks and months, and continuing this practice throughout the year to try to meet as many chapters and leaders as possible.
This tour is as much for you – our supporters – as it is for Ben and myself. Over the coming weeks we will share powerful stories from our grassroots and chapter leaders and you will get to know Ben better as he interacts with leaders from around the country. And you can have a major part of it. We’ll be sharing these stories across social media, blogs, email, and other channels, and you won’t want to miss a moment.
Ben is an experienced civil rights leader, community organizer, coalition builder, and social justice activist. His passion for the outdoors and commitment to fighting for the environment and his work as a movement builder make him uniquely qualified to lead the Sierra Club at these intersections as our journey continues to create a healthy and sustainable planet for all.
Early in Ben’s life, he spent his time in nature and communities devoted to activism, from growing up in a neighborhood of oceanographers in California to summers spent with his grandparents during the civil rights movement in West Baltimore. The first protest Ben organized at school was against timber clear cutting. He worked as a journalist exposing “cancer clusters” in rural parts of Mississippi and was the youngest person to serve as president and CEO of the NAACP, which launched its climate justice program under his leadership.
We are excited to have Ben as the next leader of Sierra Club and are looking forward to sharing his Listening Tour updates with you. Make sure to sign up and learn more.
Don’t miss out on the stories shared by chapter leaders, volunteers, and Ben himself on this listening tour. We’ll also have unique opportunities to engage with the tour through social media to help amplify the important stories from frontline communities.