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  • Writer's pictureKaren Young

Jane Goodall Grows Organizers - Team Thursday




Jane Goodall is best known as the woman who did groundbreaking research with chimpanzees years ago. She is also a most formidable organizer, making things happen all over the world in the areas of climate change, the environment and animal rights.


Goodall has come up with a great recipe for organizational success. It’s called Roots & Shoots, which helps young people from grade school through college find their own power to make change. The group operates all over the world and in many US states, from refugee camps to private schools and everything in between.


What I love about this is that it allows people to discover their own passion projects and directly go to work on them. It doesn’t tell them what is “important” or “urgent.” It helps them find others who care about the same things and work with them. Their passion will help them push through any feelings of being scared or unsure how to do the work. The program doesn’t just get important work done – it’s growing organizers.


Their model encourages members to do a project for people, a project for animals, and a project for the environment. (This way, they learn that everything is connected!) They learn about others who have done cool things, then look around for something in their community that needs fixing. Then they figure out a way to take action. Then, when they find some success, however small and local it may be, they reflect and celebrate, learning that what they do matters.


A five-year-old girl in Georgia named Serafina decided she wanted to create a small pollinator garden in her own backyard to support the local bees. She became known as a bee advocate, sharing her passion and knowledge with neighbors and friends — even helping them create their own bee sanctuaries. She quickly went on to bigger and better things, and you can find out more here.


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