Jamie Margolin – Burnout and Balance: Finding an Identity Outside Of Your Activism

Jamie Margolin, the 18-year old co-founder of one of the most dynamic and effective international youth climate justice organizations, Zero Hour, describes how coming of age in a climate catastrophe marked her so profoundly that she became solely defined by her climate justice work. Yet ultimately she succumbed to overwhelm and exhaustion—burnout. Only recently did she come to the realization that she had to be more than just a vessel for climate action; she had to start genuinely taking care of herself and pursuing passions outside her political work. By prioritizing her mental health, happiness, social life, and a variety of passions, she was able to approach her activism in a far healthier and more balanced way.

Jamie Margolin delivered this talk at the 2020 Bioneers Conference, introduced by Nina Simons.


Jamie Margolin, an 18-year-old Colombian-American organizer, author and public speaker, is one of the most effective and dynamic youth climate activists of our time. She co-founded the highly effective and dynamic international youth climate justice movement, Zero Hour, which has over 200+ chapters worldwide, has penned many op-ed pieces for a range of publications, and is the author of: Youth To Power: Your Voice and How To Use It.

Zero Hour is a youth-led movement creating entry points, training, and resources for new young activists and organizers (and adults who support our vision) wanting to take concrete action around climate change. Learn more.

In Youth to Power, Jamie Margolin presents the essential guide to changemaking, with advice on writing and pitching op-eds, organizing successful events and peaceful protests, time management as a student activist, utilizing social and traditional media to spread a message, and sustaining long-term action. She features interviews with prominent young activists including Tokata Iron Eyes of the #NoDAPL movement and Nupol Kiazolu of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, who give guidance on handling backlash, keeping your mental health a priority, and how to avoid getting taken advantage of.

Read Youth to Power‘s forward by Greta Thunberg.

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