March 26, 2010

The people behind Shift the Power

Twilight Saga's Chaske Spencer Shifts The PowerChaske Spencer, from Twilight Saga's New Moon (DVD released March 20, 2010) and the upcoming Twilight Eclipse (to be released June 30, 2010) is using his time in the spotlight to shine a light on an issue of great importance to him. Having grown up on reservations, Chaske knows intimately the already difficult existence, with 85% unemployment rates, and drug and alcohol use running rampant.

In his words "Given how I grew up, I should be dead or in jail right now, it is really a miracle that I am where I am and I am so grateful, I just want to give something back."

On February 1st, 2010 Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe declared a state of emergency after a severe ice storm devastated the reservation. The storm toppled more than 3000 power poles and left more than 13,000 people without power, heat and water.

In response to these events, Chaske and the non-profit he has been working with United Global Shift, created a project called Shift the Power to The People, whose mission is to empower people to create sustainable, lasting change in their communities and countries through:

  • Creating Awareness of the current issues and conditions

  • Creating Alternatives that promote Dignity, Justice, Unity, and Accountability

  • Taking Action that supports the creation of these alternatives

  • Fellow native and non-native actors united to create public service announcements to create awareness of what is happening and inspire people to take action immediately. The people involved included Alex Meraz, Julia Jones, Gil Birmingham, Justin Chon, Boo Boo Stewart, Q'orianka, Raoul Trujillo, Taro McArthur, Jaisey Bates, Larissa Fasthorse, Elizabeth Sage, Natalia McArthur, Sharlyse McArthur, Fivel Stewart, Darryl Redleaf, Montano Rain and Joannelle Nadine Romero.
    Comment:  This posting implies Spencer was instrumental in creating Shift the Power. But since it's a press release, it may contain some hype.

    For more on the subject, see Twilight Actors in Shift the Power PSA and PSA for Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

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