As I walked into Ithaca College, Williams Hall Classroom 202, a rising media activist and social justice filmmaker named Karly Placek asked if she could live blog my presentation. I hesitate to admit this, but though I understood the concept behind a live blog, I had never read one. So, of course, I said “Yes!”

I’m always up for trying new things, and besides, my presentation on the TRUST campaign was part of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF). This event is much more than a film festival. It sparks an international dialogue, and Karly’s live blog is part of that.

FLEFF does more than bring together a formidable array of films that should be on everyone’s “must see” list. The festival’s directors and dedicated student volunteers also bring together activists and academics from all over the map with wonderfully varied backgrounds. This year, these included everyone from a talented glitch artist to a dedicated activist and now first-time film producer working to protect the Amazon, from a university professor who specializes in transmedia to a Fulbright Scholar from Uganda who is a stunning storyteller. The powerful stories told on the screen combined with a myriad of participants sharing their experience through spaces dedicated to conversation make FLEFF a one-of-a-kind, mind-bending (in the best way!) gathering.

WItnessLIVEAnd it’s talented students like Karly who are ensuring the conversations had at FLEFF don’t stay in Ithaca. By taking her live blog to a worldwide virtual space she is sparking borderless discussions of global issues of concern to all of us. And Karly is doing more then ensuring that the conversation on key global issues continues: she is embodying what the TRUST campaign is all about. Led by our partner, Our Children’s Trust, the TRUST Campaign seeks to amplify the voices of young people. By live blogging about the concrete work that young people across the U.S. are undertaking to stabilize the atmosphere for each and every one of us, Karly is bringing hope and inspiration to other youth and she’s letting young people know that their voice is vital.

If you’re interested in learning more about the young people who are fighting for our planet, please join me tomorrow at 6pm for another live event: the #WITNESSlive broadcast “Why TRUST for Earth Day?” featuring Makayla Comas, a youth activist, and Monique Coleman, star of High School Musical.

In the meantime, as a wise older woman once told me, “It’s the young people who are doing it. Thank them.” Thank you Karly. And here is her blog:


Live Blog from the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival

Kelly Matheson – TRUST Campaign to Fight Climate Change

Blog posting by Karly Placek, Documentary Studies and Production ’15, FLEFF Social Media Manager, Monroe, Wisconsin

I’m over in Williams 202 live blogging with Kelly Matheson, Program Manager for the Americas for WITNESS. She’s about to discuss the TRUST Campaign regarding climate change awareness. There’s still time to join if you aren’t here already. If you can’t make it, here are some highlights! 

Kelly Matheson presents the TRUST Campaign on combating climate change

4:05 p.m. – Matheson discusses the main issues we, as inhabitants of Earth, face due to climate change.

4:07 p.m. – UN predicts that by 2050, one in seven people will have to be relocated due to food and water shortages.

4:15 p.m. – Matheson discusses the rights inherent to future generations – the concept of  “intergenerational justice.”

4:19 p.m. –  “We have a basic human right to a stable environment.”

4:21 p.m. –  Young environmentalists are urging the local and national government to adapt a Comprehensive Climate Recovery Plan to protect the atmosphere – but it must be based on carbon science instead of carbon politics.

4:25 p.m. –  One of the TRUST campaign videos is screened. It features Nelson Kanuk, an Alaskan teen suing the government for neglecting his basic human rights regarding environmental health. He and his family live a sustainable lifestyle and depend directly upon the environment for their food and resources.

4:35 p.m. – There are two audiences for action campaign videos. One is the broad audience, who raise awareness on issues. The other audience is among the decision makers in governmental power – those who can make legal change.

4:40 p.m. – “We try to go from close up shots to wide shots.” This is about the individual as well as the world.

4:45 p.m. – We watch another TRUST Campaign video. This time, Massachusetts teen Eshe Sherley is featured. She urges the government to think about incorporating local and healthy food initiatives into public school systems.

4:55 p.m. – The Public Trust Doctrine is everywhere – it is applicable in every sovereign state, whereas legislation such as the Clean Air Act is only recognized in certain areas.

5:01 p.m. – Discussion of the NEPA Act – The government must know the social, environmental, and cultural consequences of acts regarding the environment.

5:05 p.m. –  “A true listener listens with the willingness to help.” – Eshe Sherley. Matheson remarks that this is one of the most important things she has learned.

Much thanks to Kelly Matheson for an excellent presentation! I’m eager to learn more about environmental policies and what I can do to help. Check out Witness’s TRUST Campaign for more information on how you can get involved.

From live-blogging to live-streaming: Join us on Friday, April 19 at 6pm for the newest #WITNESSlive broadcast: a conversation with youth activist Makayla Comas and High School Musical star Monique Coleman. 

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