Harriet Tubman said “You have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” The volunteers of the remarkable organizationThird Act are determined to change the world for the better. “Experienced Americans” are over 60 years old are joining Third Act on a mission to campaign on “issues of climate change, racial equity, and the protection of democracy.” I had the honor to interview the Campaigns team from this special project.
“We live in a world where we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say it’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem. Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” Fred Rogers
Bill McKibben is the founder of Third Act. Bill has spent his life immersed in climate change. He founded 350.org, the first global grassroots climate campaign, was the first author to write about climate change for a general audience. Third Act launched at the end of 2021 with an event called “Welcome to Your Third Act.”The focus of this organization is to work with Experienced Americans who are over 60 towards Third Act’s two campaigns: “Safeguarding Our Democracy” and “Banking on Our Future”.
Understanding that the same liberties and rights that Elders fought for in the1960s and 70s are under attack, Third Act’s “Safeguarding Our Democracy” Campaign was envisioned as a way for Experienced Americans to continue that work. Through the development of communities of Elders, Third Actors will be able to engage in electoral and non-electoral actions at the local, state, and national levels. Although most of the local and state work is organized by Working Groups, there are plenty of ways outside of Working Group communities for people to plug into national initiatives like Postcards to Voters, Poll Watching, Intergenerational Voter Registration, and Mutual Aid Actions. This campaign empowers Elders to help fix the problems that their generation created, and not just leave it for the youth to figure out.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama
Banking On Our Future is a campaign that takes divestment a step further. A recent study published by the Carbon Bankroll, shows that if you have $62,500 sitting in any of the mainstream banks, then your money is producing the same amount of carbon as the average American would in 6 months. For simply choosing to bank with bad actors who leverage your money to fund the fossil fuel industry, your carbon footprint may have just doubled or tripled.
Third Act is organizing Experienced Americans to start “Banking On Our Future” because in America, people who are 60 and older hold 70% of the nation’s wealth, in comparison to Zillenials who hold only 5% of that.
Third Act seeks to reinvigorate and re-energize a generation of individuals who have so much to offer in the ongoing crusade’s for these ever important human rights while connecting the elders with the younger generations. Building a strong community of capable volunteers where the transference of humanity and ideas shape a world filled with intergenerational support and sustainability on all fronts.
“Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get into some good, necessary trouble.” John Lewis
Third Act provides a community space to activate Elders towards building a better world, and it’s easy to see from their virtual events (All-In Calls, Teach-Ins, Panels, etc..) that the center of their work is joy. From writing postcards, to joining a Working Group (organized by both location and interest), Third Act can be a one stop shop for elders who want to make a difference, don’t know where to start, and /or want to work with youth to build a better world. And it’s working!
A few weeks back, Third Act’s Vermont Working Group staged a peaceful protest at Chase Bank in Burlington,Vermont when a group of Burlington High Schoolers were walking by and decided to come in to join the Third Act group. Together this range of generations got into some “good trouble” by protesting the harm being done to the climate by the bank’s spending practice of investing in fossil fuels. Third Act provides monthly teach-ins to provide learning for volunteers.
“The only three things you need to change the world are vision, passion, and action.” Douglas Adams
The Third Act staff talked about this amazing group of people that are committed to kindness, caring and commitment for everyone. Having these sweet experiences with elders who have so much to offer the work and the next generation, is refreshing in the social welfare space . he campaigns of Third Act have more meaning and value because of the collective voices and actions of Third Act volunteers, while Third Act offers these elders a space where they are heard, they are seen, and they are part of a community who are causing good trouble in the best of ways.
It is with honor and admiration we shine the Kindness Champion Spotlight on the incredible organization. Third Act who are using their experiences and skills to campaign for a more equal, more just, and healthier planet. We thank you for being you and bringing your awesome to the world.
Here is information on the remarkable Third Act:
Twitter: @ThirdActOrg https://twitter.com/thirdactorg?lang=en
Facebook: @ThirdActOrg https://www.facebook.com/ThirdActOrg/
Instagram: @thirdactorg https://www.instagram.com/thirdactorg/?hl=en