Not just storytellers, but catalysts for change

by Jacqueline Baldonado

The Climate Tracker Content Creators’ Hub, to put directly, exceeded my expectations. From one September night spent contemplating my application thinking I wasn’t fit enough to be in this field (I had very little journalism experience) – to getting heartwarming comments from the fellows after seeing my first output on the screen, months after getting chosen to be in this batch.

What I really liked the most is that the bootcamp further humanized my experience in this Content Creators’ Hub. I wasn’t just seeing faces on the Zoom meeting screen. I was having dinner with the fellows on the first night of our meeting, getting to know everyone and finding out how vast the climate justice movement is. And that it is tough, tough work. For some, it was traveling through storms to document real-time disasters. Or it was spending nights on the floor of the function room with laptops and paperworks all over. And amazingly, it could also be in the spaces between the material and spiritual world–connecting with the rawest core of mother nature. But honestly, this is just a few out of many.

I was also introduced to a new range of ideas and lessons from the speakers. It didn’t only tackle the technicalities of climate work and storytelling, it especially highlighted the challenge of creativity in order to keep up with the advances of our world. As a Gen-Z, this was really engaging. In the same way, the fellows I worked with and I clicked with each other really well!

I do believe that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools to use for justice. Indeed, the pen–or the media–is a double-edged sword. The thing is that climate justice storytellers aren’t just chroniclers of the crisis, but catalysts for change.

Yet, amid the inspiring narratives, there was a constant reminder that all of this exists because of an uphill battle we face. I guess you can say we are here because we mirror that there is an injustice persisting in our world. Yet, we are here because we also mirror hope and collective action, an intricate web that binds humanity together.

I stepped out of the bootcamp with a renewed sense of purpose of what it means to be a storyteller. Every story shared wasn’t left in a single room, but stored in every part of the fellows’ hearts, and subsequently passed on to many new people.