The Palm Oil Action Leaders are a group of passionate palm oil activists who participated in a 5-day intensive campaign organizing and direct actions training hosted by Rainforest Action Network in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here is part 2 of an 7 series blogs we are releasing to introduce these inspiring folks with the Palm Oil Action Team. Continue reading for Becky’s story on what has inspired her activism. If you live in the Orange County, CA area and feel inspired by Becky’s story, sign up to work with her by clicking the sign-up link at the bottom of the page!
Becky Chung, 16, Orange County, CA
Becky’s journey as an environmentalist began with a trip to Costa Rica in the summer of 2014, where she embarked on a solo backpacking trip. Although she had the opportunity to visit rainforest reserves while on her trip, she also came face-to-face with the reality of mass deforestation and rainforest destruction. As she processed the dichotomous reality of the preserved land side by side with the hundreds of acres of deforested land, she became devastated as she realized that she and her friends, family, and peers were all unknowingly contributing to this controversial industry in their everyday lives.
While witnessing mass deforestation first-hand in Costa Rica sparked her interest in grassroots and national organizing, it was attending the People’s Climate March in New York City in September 2014 that was truly the transformative experience for Becky. It was her experience at this massive environmental movement that has propelled her into the world of activism:
The People's Climate March pushed forward the momentum that had been building up to that point - it was after the March that I created my first nonprofit and became heavily involved with organizations like SustainUS and eventually RAN. The past months since [the March] have been a whirlwind of activism and the happiest I've ever been - I’ve traveled to NYC, Washington D.C., and then San Francisco for the Palm Oil Action Leader summit, meeting some of the most dedicated and passionate folks on this planet, and having the opportunity to do work I love for the planet I love!
At the young age of 16, Becky is a passionate, caring, and wise-beyond-her-years activist committed to being a leader in the fight against Conflict Palm Oil. In addition to Conflict Palm Oil, Becky challenges corporate power by participating in the social justice, climate change, and environmental education movements.
Do you live in the Orange County area and want to work with Becky to fight Conflict Palm Oil? On August 11th, Becky will be hosting a call-in event to Sara Lee outside a local grocery store, and she’s looking for volunteers to join her.