Volunteer Highlight: Sam Kinzel

Thanks to Sam Kinzel for volunteering with MNIPL this summer to help mobilize for the climate strike! Here’s more about Sam:

Hello! My name is Sam, and I’m an Eden Prairie native attending school out west, at Whitman College. I spent my earlier years of community engagement in and out of my home parish of Pax Christi Catholic Church while volunteering for various local nonprofits.

It wasn’t until the day that Mother Nature slammed down my door and threw some sandals at my feet that I learned I was bound to be an environmentalist. Then I learned I didn’t really like “environmentalism” so I left and have been in rehab since. In all seriousness, I have always had a heart for the relations between the “natural” and the “human.”

My faith laid down much of the foundation for this intrigue/passion, and my love for climate/social/racial/economic justice activism continues to grow. This past year of school was an incredible breakthrough point where I got more intentionally involved than ever before, and I plan to continue offer myself to these and other pursuits ’til I feed the trees.

This past fall, I took on a major role as part of a successful campus-wide campaign at my school, Whitman College, to divest our half-billion dollar endowment from its stakes in fossil fuel companies.

It’s humble communities like Pax and my group of schoolmates involved with organizing that encourage me to find my place and purpose and to never accept that as any one thing.

Here at MNIPL I am helping to plan the September 20th Climate Strike and have been planning a series of community discussions to bring to faith communities and public outdoor spaces as a means to better engage with and vitalize our many, unique “communities.” I’ll only serve this role as an intern here for a few more weeks, but I will remain as involved as I possibly can in the future. I am very much a people person, so please feel free to reach out to me for any reason! Love love love!