Kate Benson and Lottie Donovan

Whilst reflecting on our time in the Young Greens and going forward nominating ourselves for this national role of events officer, we realised what an important role events play. As Manchester Young Greens co-chairs, we started out as just the two of us, but since 2018 have grown into a thriving, active group. It was events and socials that allowed us to do this, as the opportunities they provided to make personal connections were what kept people motivated and involved long term.

We share the vision of the Young Greens as the radical, socialist wing of the Green Party, a group of young people that is a force for change and resistance. The Young Greens have a central role to play in campaigns for social justice, for electing transformative young socialists to local council, for holding the Green Party to account and pushing it to adopt more radical, inclusive policies that always centre marginalised voices. But this vision is only possible with a strong, connected and active Young Greens network.

Events play a central role in building this sustainable base. Their capacity in helping create a sense of community and nurture relationships cannot be understated in its importance of keeping Young Greens involved for the long term. Events are also opportunities to energise and inspire, through talks and workshops that put forward a vision not only for an anti-capitalist future but equip our activists with the tools to make change in their communities. In this way, events combine meeting fellow passionate activists with inspiring elements of political education together. It is this that creates a community of Young Greens, that is not just outraged at injustice in isolation but empowered to collaborate with others and take action.

If elected we would have several priorities to ensure Young Greens events in 2021-22 achieve these vital aims.

Firstly, we will commit to finding a balance of online and offline events that allow the most people to participate as possible. Online events have their advantages, and have allowed a record number of people to engage with the Lecture Series and other events that have run over the past year. However, the opportunity to meet people in person and forge the connections we believe are so important is difficult to fully replicate in online forums, but this doesn’t mean we won’t try. We will ensure that for both kinds of events there are ways for this to take place.

Secondly, while a key benefit of online events can be that they are more accessible, they are not always inherently so, which is why we believe placing accessibility at the heart of every event is key. For in-person events, we want to remove any and all barriers to full participation, whether that be cost, venue facilities or anything else flagged in collaboration with the Liberation Officers.

Naturally, this will be a key consideration for our largest events like Convention, which we want to make the biggest and best yet. We will do this through not only ensuring accessibility, but through significant advanced planning to book the best speakers, the ideal venue location and allow for the advertising and promotion needed to ensure the maximum number of attendees. We also want to put this same care and effort into planning the Autumn event as well as offer support for as many regional events as we can. In this way, we can ensure that Young Greens across the country have an opportunity to meet, regardless of where they are based.

Candidates running for the other executive roles all have an incredible vision of what Young Greens activism could look like, and it is through events that the connections are made to turn that vision into a reality. We want to deliver on that potential, so ask for you to put your trust in us and vote for Kate and Lottie for events officer.

This article is part of a series from candidates standing in this year’s elections to the Young Greens of England and Wales Executive Committee. You can find all the articles in the series here. Voting is open in the Young Greens elections from July 3 to July 18. 

PS. We hope you enjoyed this article. Bright Green has got big plans for the future to publish many more articles like this. You can help make that happen. Please donate to Bright Green now.