by Kim Erdmann, Global Zero Student Leader and participant at the recent Student Institute and Global Zero Summit in LA.
Arriving in Los Angeles for the first time I felt empowered, destined to save the people I quickly passed in the airport. Could they see that I was part of a group of students who would protect them from potential nuclear fallout? Hmm… probably not. Truth is, few are aware of the threat nuclear weapons pose to humanity. It was the colossal job of Global Zero to teach us students how to change that.
Things really took off when students from all kinds of backgrounds sat behind their name tags and… named their favorite animal. Okay, we needed few icebreakers, but in no time we resembled a modern version of The Breakfast Club. Instead of sitting in detention, we conquered the application of Global Zero on our college campuses. The anthem of the Institute was easily “Don’t You Forget About Me”, possibly remixed with something from the Mission Impossible soundtrack.
Then, we got the opportunity to be formal observers at the Global Zero Summit at the Reagan Library. We greeted signatories including George Shultz, Richard Burt, Jack Matlock and many more. The powerful words of these world leaders taught us to persevere, and to strive to teach others about the mounting threat of nuclear weapons.
The Global Zero adventure was amazing. From Institute to Summit, all of us “Global Zero-ers” became friends and learned infinitely from one another. We shared differing approaches, from Tom Cruise-esque plans to those of a modern Molly Ringwald. Fundamentally we now know that Global Zero is a primary issue and needs attention from our friends and classmates. Going home to our own college campuses, we are equipped with know-how and with teammates who will make Global Zero an unstoppable movement.
Want to support the work Kim and other students are doing for Global Zero? Add your voice to the movement by signing the Cut Nukes petition.