Workshop Description & Speaker Bios




Telling Your Impact Story, facilitated by Jay Golden of Wakingstar Story Consultants

If you want to have a real impact in the world, you need to first be able to tell your own story – the one that tells where you’ve come from, and where you’re going. Through a series of interactive exercises, this workshop will strengthen each participant’s personal storytelling skills, teaching just what stories are and how they work. Drawing upon rich material from our own lives and our experiences with fracking, we will develop our stories as we learn the skills that make them effective, whether meant for the kitchen table, the radio or to a crowd at a rally. Techniques to bring the story home will include

  • “painting the scene,”
  • “the art of the twist” and
  • “finding the lesson.”

In the process we will hear each others’ stories, seeing how each of our journeys come together to strengthen a growing movement.

Tools to Win the Battle of the Story, facilitated by Patrick Reinsborough of the Center for Story-based Strategy (formerly SmartMeme)

The power of stories shapes our understanding of the world around us.  But when it comes to fracking, all too often these stories are coming from politicians and industry while ignoring the negative impact to communities, environmental destruction and threat to future generations. Understanding how to win the “Battle of the Story” for public opinion is critical to all of our efforts as organizers, advocates and communicators to make positive change.

Join trainers from the Center for Story-based Strategy (formerly smartMeme) and learn how to be a strategic storyteller and craft more effective campaign narratives. The session will cover fundamentals of communications strategy: framing, narrative power analysis, and give you tools to win the Battle of the Story. All participants will receive a complimentary copy of the activist strategy manual Re:Imagining Change––How to Use Story-based Strategy To Win Campaigns, Build Movements and Change the World (PM Press 2010).

Spokesperson Training, facilitated by Celia Alario of PR for People & the Planet

Lights! Camera! Action! In this highly interactive spokesperson prep session we’ll cover the ABC’s (Plus F & T) of effective interviewing skills (Acknowledge, Bridge, Communicate, Flagging, Touch n’ Go). We’ll  practice a number of different interview scenarios, and learn how to get the most out of our interactions with print, radio and television reporters. Come with your sound bytes and talking points drafted and be ready to hone your craft.  Participants will be given tip sheets, role plays and other activities they can take home to continue the practice (which as they say, makes perfect).

Rural Organizing, facilitated by Marcy Westerling & Mike Edera of the Rural Organizing Project

Rural communities bear the footprint of resource extraction – not only are they frequently torn apart by such colonization but then they are blamed for it.  Much of rural america has lagged behind cities economically, felt devalued if not ridiculed by the political left and befriended regularly by the political right. Is it any wonder that organizing a progressive base in rural america seems a challenge?
Come learn, and adopt/adapt, some proven strategies for organizing around contentious issues in rural communities. Marcy Westerling and Mike Edera have decades of experience in the Pacific Northwest – fighting the right, reframing the culture wars and building around shared positive values.  Fracking represents a current face of historical tensions. This clinic will share tested methods then think through best adaptions for success in  2013 and beyond anti-fracking campaigns. Participants are encouraged to register in advance so that a brief email exchange allows presenters to know your organizing reality prior to workshop. Ongoing problem solving is available for active organizers in rural settings.  For an overview of the ROP please read

Fracking 101, facilitated by Deb Thomas of Powder River Basin Resource Council and Jess Ennis of Earthjustice

Join us to learn the basics of oil and gas drilling. This workshop will focus on the pathways of contamination and federal policy, with plenty of time for questions.

LNG Exports, facilitated by Deb Nardone of the Sierra Club

Please join Deb Nardone, the director of the Beyond Natural Gas program at the Sierra Club to talk about the potential export of natural gas and what it may mean for fracking in the United States. Learn about the policy process and the campaign that is forming to stop and slow the creation of export terminals.

Pipelines, Compressor Stations and Other Infrastructure

Please join Charles Morgan, Executive Director of Citizens for Environmental Clean-Up, Libby Willis, President of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations and Matt Walker of the Clean Air Council to discuss the serious environmental issues posed by natural gas infrastructure.

Connecting Fracking, Climate Change, and Clean Energy

Come hear Dr. Tony Ingraffea and others discuss the climate impacts of natural gas production and what a significant increase in methane pollution means for the fate of our climate.

The Threat of New and Repurposed Tar Sands Pipelines

Many of us have heard about TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, but are you aware that old, repurposed pipelines such as the Seaway pipeline and others also threaten Texas and other states across the country?  Learn about the dangers of tar sands crude, the threat both new and old pipelines pose, and the emerging trend of repurposing old pipelines to carry this dangerous substance with the twinning or adding of lines to create tar sands superhighways across our nation.

Hear from landowners and what they have endured regarding the Keystone XL southern segment which is being trenched in East Texas, the Seaway pipeline which passes near Dallas water supplies and residential areas near Houston, and the Trunkline pipeline which will enter the state near South Texas. Landowners Julia Trigg Crawford of Paris and Bobby Reneau of Kaufman will join the conversation along with Rita Beving of Public Citizen and a representative of the Tar Sands Blockade.

Speaker Bios

Danny Kennedy co-founded Sungevity and is the President of the company. A long time social entrepreneur, Danny has achieved global recognition as an environmental activist, spokesperson, and opinion leader. Most recently, Danny was the Campaigns Manager for Greenpeace Australia Pacific. In 2001, he ran Greenpeace’s California Clean Energy Campaign, the success of which helped lead to the current California Solar Initiative. Danny was the founder and first Executive Director of Project Underground and has served on several nonprofit boards. Danny lives in Oakland with his wife Miya Yoshitani and two daughters.

Jennifer Krill: Extracting social and environmental justice from corporate boardrooms since 1995, Jennifer Krill joined EARTHWORKS as the Executive Director in January 2010, where she supports the organization’s national and international programs on mining and fossil fuel extraction.

Prior to EARTHWORKS, Jennifer directed campaigns at Rainforest Action Network (RAN), where she helped negotiate a landmark policy from Boise Cascade to protect old growth forests, managed RAN’s program to convince Japanese paper companies to stop buying old growth pulp from Tasmania, led the grassroots organizing campaign resulting in Home Depot ending its purchases of endangered wood products, directed the successful campaign to jumpstart Ford Motor Company, co-designed RAN’s innovative effort to spur the nation’s largest banks to stop financing climate change-causing industries, and helped found RAN’s ambitious Rainforest Agribusiness Campaign working to get big agribusiness out of rainforest regions.

Deborah Rogers is the founder of Energy Policy Forum, a consultancy and educational forum dedicated to policy and financial issues regarding shale gas and renewable energy. She lectures on shale gas economics throughout the U.S. and abroad at Universities, business venues and public forums and has appeared on MSNBC and NPR.  She will close out the weekend with a plenary on the real economics behind the shale boom.

Dr. Tony Ingraffea has taught structural mechanics, finite element methods, and fracture mechanics at Cornell for 33 years. Dr. Ingraffea’s research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He will be speaking on a panel entitled, “Connecting Fracking, Climate Change, and Clean Energy”

Wilma Subra is a chemist who has spent her career defending local communities against Louisiana’s powerful oil and gas industry. She received a MacArthur Fellowship for helping “ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues.”  Wilma will be speaking on the health impacts of fracking at the Sunday morning plenary.

Jay Golden’s journey into storytelling began on the road. Traveling from Kathmandu to Cusco, over mountain passes with worn boots, across flatlands with an outstretched thumb, and around jungle coasts on a puttering boat, he found a passion for sharing stories, person to person, with those he met along the way. Jay’s travels finally took him to San Francisco, where the skills he had picked up proved useful – he was adept at learning new systems, new languages and new ways of telling stories. In 1996, Jay helped found, which Yahoo called ‘The Most Useful Site on the Web.’ He went on to lead dozens of  productions, including some of the first major label online videos ( and social action movies (Free Range Studios and Gorilla in the Greenhouse).

Celia Alario is a media and public relations strategist, with an expertise in serving communities most impacted yet often most disproportionately left out of the debate on critical issues of social justice, human rights, environmental justice, peace and corporate accountability. I was a grassroots organizer first, then a campaigner, so I approach media as an organizing tool and work at the intersection of the three areas. I’ve worked with dozens of groups who use peaceful protest and nonviolent civil disobedience as a transformational tool, and appreciate the opportunity to use creative communications strategies to reach an audience.

Patrick Reinsborough has been involved in campaigns for peace, the environment, and social justice for over twenty years. He co-founded the smartMeme strategy & training project in 2002 to explore the intersection of movement building, imagination and strategies to shift cultural narratives. Patrick is a campaigner, communications strategist, facilitator, and creative provocateur who has partnered with hundreds of high impact organizations to frame issues, strengthen alliances and win critical campaigns. He was previously the Organizing Director of the Rainforest Action Network where he mobilized thousands of people to confront corporations who destroy the environment and violate human rights. Patrick was also a prominent organizer, strategist and media spokesperson for the U.S. wings of the global justice and anti-war movements including helping to organize mass direct actions that shutdown the Seattle World Trade Organization meeting in 1999 and protest the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He lives with his family in the SF Bay area.

Marcy Westerling is a leader in organizing, educating, and mobilizing grassroots responses to violence, bigotry and injustice in rural communities for over twenty-five years. Marcy founded the Rural Organizing Project (ROP) in 1992 to develop the ongoing capacity of pro-democracy groups in over 60 rural and small town communities in Oregon. This network of human dignity groups, committed to a broad agenda of social change, is the first of its kind in the state of Oregon and has since become a national model. The ROP is noted for its work in not only empowering rural, small town and frontier activists to develop and use their progressive voice, but also for linking issues through transformational organizing which understands the long term nature of justice work. Fully inclusive democracy is the frame through which issues are woven together. The 2008 book Lessons from the Field: Organizing in Rural Communities leads off with a chapter from and about Rural Organizing Project, authored by Marcy and longtime ROP leader, Mike Edera. In 2010 Marcy was diagnosed with metastasized ovarian cancer requiring ongoing chemotherapy. Around treatments, Marcy works on special projects that raise up the history and unique organizing model of ROP and continues as an Open Society Fellow. Send Marcy an email at marcy(at)

Mike Edera is a landscaper by day and a community organizer for the rest of the hours of his week. His multi-decade committment to justice combines a passion for understanding social justice in an historical context with a commitment to action in small-town Oregon. Prior to becoming an active leader with the ROP in the early nineties he was a long-time environmental activist in the social movements of the 1970’s and 80’s, including opposing nuclear power, supporting movements for public power, working in the anti-toxics movement in Oregon forestry and agriculture, and supporting grassroots cooperative economics. In the late 1980’s he was involved in a local effort to stop the construction of a major landfill near his mountaintop home, as part of a nation-wide resistance to the siting of massive new garbage dumps in low-income rural and urban communities. The outpouring of resistance was effective but the grassroots political infrastructure so painstakingly built over three years of struggle disappeared with victory.  The lessons learned from this experience led to his becoming an active leader with the ROP in the early nineties . Mike and Marcy relocated from their homestead in the woods to the city with her illness but stay active in community organizing.

Lisa Fithian has been working for nonviolent social change since the mid  1970’s. Over the years she has been a student, labor and community organizer on a broad range of issues.  From environmental justice to student and worker rights, from peace and global justice to immigration and housing, Lisa continues to use a wide range of strategies and tactics and encouraged nonviolent direct action as one of the most effective strategies for change.