Depending on how it is leveraged, receiving a ‘no’ on divestment from your administration can either be a fantastic opportunity to galvanize support for your campaign and grow it in size and power, or can take the wind out of your campaign’s sails. Receiving a ‘no’ should not be perceived as a negative, deflating event, but rather as an opportunity to grow and escalate. Remember that during the South Africa divestment movement, many campaigns heard ‘no’ before receiving a ‘yes.’ It was what happened in between that led to divestment wins. Below are suggestions on how to leverage a ‘no’ to your advantage.
Grow and Leverage Support
If you’ve won partial divestment, congratulations and kudos on the hard work and stellar organizing that has gotten your campaign this far! Now it’s time to develop your strategy for leveraging this win toward winning full divestment. Below are suggestions on how to capitalize on your partial win to grow your campaign and support the larger movement, and to push your administration toward full divestment.
Capitalizing on the momentum generated by your win, create a new campaign strategy not unlike the strategy that led you to this win.
First of all, congratulations on winning divestment! You have undoubtedly worked very hard to get to this incredible point, but the work does not stop here. There are many things your campaign can do after receiving a ‘yes’ from your administration to help bolster the larger movement. Continue pushing the climate action envelope at your school and activate students, faculty, and alumni around climate organizing.
Our movement needs wins, and wins should be maximally leveraged when they occur.
Capitalize on the momentum for climate action at your school by pushing for more. Examples of things you could push for include:
Utilize this as an opportunity to get more students, faculty, and alumni involved in climate activism.