Submitted by Joe Smyth ’00
After Kirby, I studied the interaction between social movements and the law at UC Santa Barbara. I was fascinated by historic and modern day efforts by citizens to organize for civil rights, environmental protections, and peace – and how they sometimes won meaningful changes in government policies. So after finishing those studies I began working as an organizer, first on a few election campaigns and then to push for strong federal policies to address climate change and invest in clean energy. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this work was meeting so many dedicated people and getting a chance to work in communities in Colorado, Ohio, California, Florida, New Mexico, and Minnesota.
More recently, I’ve spent the last three years doing communications work for Greenpeace, based in Washington DC. My job entails writing, talking with reporters, training activists, planning with allies, and whatever else I can do to help generate strategic media coverage that will help us win campaigns to protect the environment. Sometimes my job brings me to unique places – most recently I was on a ship in Alaska for our campaign to protect the Arctic as sea ice melts and opens the region to oil drilling. Whether I’m in DC or beyond, it’s always interesting work.