My name is Katrina Castaneda, and I’m a campaign intern at Global Zero. I’ve been on the team for about a month, though my interest in nuclear weapons began much earlier, when I saw the documentary Countdown to Zero in my international relations class at UCI.
Terrorism is a topic that can get old for students. We’ve been saturated with terror talk, especially in the news, since middle school. But this film heightened my interest in nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism. If you haven’t seen it I encourage you to get your hands on a copy!
I grew up believing that we can conquer our goals, however insurmountable they may seem. My goal – far-fetched to many – is world peace. And one giant step toward that goal is nuclear arms control and, eventually, Global Zero: a world without nuclear weapons.
Global Zero, hm? I sometimes get criticism for this view. A few weeks ago, a peer laughed when I told him that I’m interning for an organization that advocates for a world free of nuclear weapons. He proclaimed he was a “realist” and that it wasn’t going to happen.
Words like this can be discouraging, but fall short of “realism.”
Ridding the world of nuclear weapons isn’t going to happen overnight, and it’s not going to be easy. Leadership and action are necessary. And Global Zero is active on both fronts, recruiting leaders around the world and building public pressure to put the Global Zero plan into action. They work in new and exciting ways to influence nuclear policy and bring the topic to people at the grassroots as well as the grasstops.
My 10-week stint is halfway complete. When I walk through the Global Zero doors, I know what awaits me: a team of passionate campaigners working to change the world. I have learned so much about nuclear energy, regional attitudes on nukes and the challenges ahead – and have enjoyed taking on my responsibility as a global citizen.
I was in search of an internship that could offer me experience in foreign policy and the nonprofit sector. Global Zero was a wonderful choice, and gave me the chance to work for the organization that inspired me to enter the world of nukes.
I urge you all to learn more and help share the message. This interactive map is a great starting point for information on nuclear dangers and the Global Zero solution:
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you in the field!