Why I Do This Work: A Monthly Feature

We are beginning a regular series called “Why I do this Work” which will feature a new Clean Energy Jobs campaign supporter each month. We want to hear personal stories to gain a clear perspective of why we are all working together to accomplish this goal.

This Week’s Clean Activist: Campaign Co-manager Nikki Richards

“There are a multitude of reasons to work for clean energy and job expansion, many of them being popular and often cited. Aside from record-breaking temperatures and the destruction of our forests and oceanic habitats, the most important reason which rises for me is creating a livable future for the next generation. In short, I do it for the kids.

If you’ve ever met me, you’ve heard me mention the Quaker summer camp I’ve worked at for the past eight years. The Baltimore Yearly Meeting camping programs are near and dear to my heart and I view the work I do each summer as integral to the future success of our country. Let’s face it–our kids will one day run this nation. That is why I spend each summer working with teens on the Appalachian trail to teach them the value of our earth, of caring for one another through stewardship, and of the power love can have.

Following the 2016 presidential election and a series of environmentally devastating executive orders, I began to hear from my campers more than usual. They reached out to me asking for support. They reached out to express fear, uncertainty, and a helplessness which I also shared. They reached out to ask me how we ever got here, and to tell me that they wanted to fix it but weren’t sure how. My kids were fearful, not only for the country but for their families and themselves too.

People often tell me I’m like a mother bear when it comes to my decade’s worth of campers. When they are struggling or hurt, I will fight. I would do anything to protect these kids, and fighting climate change and backwards executive orders which endanger them, their families, and all of the children in our country is most certainly something I feel called to fight for.

The future is theirs and the responsibility for creating it is ours. For the 85+ campers I’ve spent my summers learning from and working with, I am willing to do anything. They matter and they deserve the best world we can give them. Their future and their needs are why I do this work.”

Thanks for all your hard work Nikki! We loved hearing your perspective.