We're continuing our Meme Slinger Profile Series - putting a face on some of the social media storytellers in the climate justice movement. I am more than delighted to present an interview with Texas-based organizer, Ethan Nuss. Ethan was the Field Director for Energy Action Coalition and is currently an intern with t.e.j.a.s. Ethan originally moved to Texas to lend a hand with the Tar Sands Blockade, a campaign which completely escalated and continues to push the climate movement forward in solidarity and emboldenment.
I've been a big fan of Ethan's humble organizing, contagious excitement, and ability to use social media to give humanity and epicness to the story of fighting for a livable planet. Read more about Ethan's thoughts on online organizing below...
Where are you from and where do you and your laptop call home?
A mid-sized town, in the middle of Kansas
Houston’s East End
My laptop lives in “Lil Red” - my trusty knapsack
What brought you to Texas?
Join the Tar Sands Blockade and use direct action to stop the Keystone XL pipeline
What is it about the promise of social media and storytelling that excites you? What’s your greatest hope when you approach this work? Why bother?
My greatest hope is that we can humanize the brave folks on the frontlines of the struggle, authentically tell their stories, and inspire others to action.
What’s your greatest fear when it comes to the world of online organizing?
That people will feel that by clicking LIKE they are doing enough.
What’s a favorite recent campaign you worked on, and how did memes, social media, and/or storytelling play a powerful role?
Supporting Owe Aku’s (Bring Back the Way) campaign to Protect SacredWater from more tar sands entering Lakota Treaty Territory via the northern segment of Keystone XL. I produced a series of memes with the participants in the Moccasins on the Ground training in the Red Shirt community. These memes helped humanize frontline leaders and propelled their words to a broader audience through social media.
What are a few of your favorite meme-slinging tools and do you use any auxiliary social media tools? Any special charms you keep nearby?
PicMonkey. Tethering internet on my iPhone in the woods or the backseat of a random car near a direct action.
What kind of projects/campaigns are you looking to support? Can you give support from afar as well as on-site?
Frontline struggles to resist extreme extraction. Yep! thats the beauty of the internet.
What are some things you get up to when you’re not busy meme-slinging?
Organizing!, gardening, riding my bike, meditating, and writing poetry.
How can folks find you via facebook, twitter, instagram, your website, etc?
t.e.j.a.s. - Manchester Health Survey + Stop Keystone XL
Environmental justice leaders in the refinery community of Manchester on Houston’s East End organize to end environmental racism. The Keystone XL pipeline brings more tar sands to be refined in their predominately Latino/a community.