IntersectECO grew out of a small idea with big potential.
The first iteration of IntersectECO, founded by then-senior Liam McIlroy, was called the Midwest Student Coalition for Climate Action (MWSCCA), a coalition that worked to join the environmental activists of the Ohio Five Liberal Arts Colleges of Oberlin College, Kenyon College, Ohio Wesleyan University, The College of Wooster, and Denison University. Student leaders from these campuses would converge for the first time ever at the First Annual Community for Climate Conference in April of 2017 that hosted over 170 student activists and was put together by a diverse conference team primarily made up of Denison University students.
After a successful and invigorating conference, the leadership team of IntersectECO that consisted of co-founders Liam McIlroy, Craig Freeland, Anandita Gupta, and Summer Aldred realized that the connection and networking of students was too valuable to let faded away. They could not let this conference be a one-time event, and they began to envision a future where pre-existing student environmental groups from all across the country could be connected, empowered by one another’s actions, grow in empathic civic engagement, and make the environmental movement accessible to all of their communities. The beginning of IntersectECO in the form that it is in today took root from that realization.
In order to reflect this new inclusive vision, the name was changed to Students for Community and Environmental Action (SCEA). Under this name, our organization reached many new milestones of growth. In December of 2017, it signed on for fiscal sponsorship with the PowerShift Network, a nationwide environmental action and justice network. Additionally, a relationship with the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship was solidified in December of 2017, an organization out of Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN that offers literature on civic engagement called Public Achievement.
As our organization believes in finding the intersections of the environmental movement in order to make it accessible to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, family history, age, gender, or sexuality, it was identified that the name SCEA did not fully encompass our mission and values (plus it was quite a mouthful to say... try saying Students for Community and Environmental Action 10 times fast).
IntersectECO or Intersect Environmental Community Organizing, is young and growing, and we are committed to making the world by empowering organizations that are part of our network to identify the needs, reach out to their communities, and grow together in communication and empathy in order to make this movement accessible to all people.The leadership team and all of the affiliate student groups work hard to nurture the organism that is IntersectECO, having faith in the idea that something beautiful can come out of a world that can be harsh and unpredictable.