Part II of two posts on the Global Zero Movement
As I noted in an earlier blog, the Global Zero movement is supported by both senior level government officials, including Presidents Obama and Medvedev, and high profile celebrities who believe in the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons. But developing a parallel base of grassroots support is equally as important as securing endorsements from the big names.
As Global Zero puts it “as more leaders in nuclear and non-nuclear countries come out in support of Zero, a show of global public support could help tip the balance.” Global Zero is dedicated to raising the profile of the movement to eliminate nuclear dangers by both seeking out voices guaranteed to garner attention and attempting to build the necessary public support to ensure success.
Student activism played an important role in the success of several past movements, including the nuclear freeze movement. Seeking to capitalize on this potentially enormous wellspring of support, Global Zero has worked to establish several chapters at universities throughout the United States and around the globe…
The U.S. student movement spans from coast-to-coast and now boasts 24 chapters. They include: the University of Michigan, Miami University, Ferris State University, Washington University, Kansas State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Brown University, Wellesley/MIT, Columbia University, Memorial University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Yale University, York University, the University of Georgia, Georgetown University, Davidson College, the University of Oklahoma, American University, the University of Oregon, the University of California-Irvine, the University of Washington, the University of Alaska, Stanford University, and the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. Chapters have also been established at universities in India, Japan, Pakistan, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K., Israel, and Canada.
I helped organize the launch of Global Zero @UGA in September 2009, which occurred simultaneously with thirteen other colleges throughout the U.S. as part of the first wave of Global Zero’s student movement. During our kickoff event, we rented a table at our student center in order to spread awareness and solicit signatures for Global Zero’s declaration. Since that time, the UGA chapter has partnered with the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network to blog about arms control and disarmament issues, and recently hosted a debate regarding the prospects for achieving a world without nuclear weapons.
Students interested in launching a chapter at their campus can get involved by completing the volunteer form on the Global Zero website and checking the box for “start a Global Zero chapter at my school.” I can personally vouch that it is an excellent opportunity to take on a leadership role and gain experience in organizing and being part of a grassroots movement. There are also several invaluable opportunities to network with policymakers, which could come in might handy if you’re interested in pursuing a career in nuclear weapons policy.
And on a related note for students seeking to get involved with the movement, Global Zero has recently announced a unique and exciting opportunity to become a “Roadie” and team up with the movement on its upcoming, six-week road tour to promote the new Countdown to Zero documentary before its theatrical release. The acclaimed film, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, has been compared to the renowned 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth. According to one reviewer, Countdown to Zero seeks to demonstrate that “anyone with a relatively small amount of money has the ability to obtain enough nuclear weapons material to incinerate everything in a five-mile radius of a large city. And they wouldn’t have to missile it into the U.S., they could simply detonate it in a container ship at a port.”
Global Zero is currently looking for “12 highly motivated, intelligent volunteers who are willing to be at the forefront of a growing global movement” to join them this spring and summer in bringing the documentary to campuses, churches, conferences, and camps throughout the country. The application must be completed as soon as possible, as the tour begins in Washington, D.C. on March 20. The campaign concludes at the end of May in New York City. Your responsibilities will include setting up screenings, planning daily events, selling merchandise, handling deposits/accounting, managing inventory, and continuing investment and follow up with new supporters that you’ll meet on each campus and at each screening.
Global Zero has agreed to cover the costs of your housing in D.C. during training and has set up host homes throughout the tour. Transportation costs are covered, and you will be provided with a stipend for food as well. They have also agreed to work with you and your university to provide internship credit while you’re away.
More information can be found at http://www.globalzero.org/roadtour. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to spread the Global Zero movement!