100Grannies is an environmentalist organization co-founded by Barbara Schlachter and Ann Christenson. The organization focuses primarily on environmental issues such as clean energy, the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), and zero waste. 100Grannies organizes community initiatives, marches, and forums.
100Grannies is a non-profit organization that promotes environmentalism by creating “chapters,” which are formed by ten “teams” of ten “grannies,” around the United States to advocate for left-wing energy and environmental policies, especially opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline project.
Barbara Schlachter, the co-founder of 100Grannies, held the organization’s first meeting on April 19, 2012, in her private home alongside fellow co-founder Ann Christenson. She claims she named the organization after a vision of “100 grandmothers standing on a track in front of a coal train to make it stop.”
During that meeting, Schlachter called for a stop to the exploitation of “air, water, and land,” and to “create the Clean Energy Revolution.” The meeting also prompted Schlachter to create the organizations’ motto: “Fossils for a Fossil Fuel Free Future.”
Men are forbidden to be a part of the organization. Schlachter and Christenson said that they “felt that this is an opportunity for all kinds of women who can cooperate together. We work together I think better than we might with men.”
Shortly after its inception, 100Grannies began pushing environmentalist issues in Iowa. The organization began in 2012 by attempting to ban single-use plastic bags in Iowa City. The following year, 100Grannies continued its effort to ban plastic bags, as well as contacting state and federal political leaders. In 2017, then-Gov. Terry Branstad (R) signed into law legislation that prohibits Iowa localities from banning plastic bags.
100Grannies was one of the environmentalist organizations that took part in a 2015 protest against the construction of a natural gas pipeline that would transport oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields through Iowa. 100Grannies joined with 12 other organizations to demonstrate against the Dakota Access pipeline project, which was led by the Iowa chapter of the Sierra Club.
100Grannies continued to protest the DAPL in 2016 by co-sponsoring a demonstration organized by Mississippi Stand. During the demonstration, 32 protesters were arrested after they allegedly tore down a security fence. According to a member of 100Grannies, “It was a good effort, but we needed to swarm in after the fence was breached, and that didn’t happen.”
The late founder of the group, Barbara Schlachter, was one of the first female Episcopal priests and co-founded Iowa City Climate Advocates (ICCA), the Iowa branch of Citizens Climate Lobby.
Schlachter founded the organization in 2012 with her friend and fellow activist Ann Christenson.
Before founding 100Grannies, Schlachter took part in a 2011 White House protest which aimed to prevent the creation of a 1,600-mile pipeline that would carry oil from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. Police arrested Schlachter during the protest, alongside 1,200 other activists including Christenson.
100Grannies affiliates itself with Iowa City Climate Advocates. 100Grannies links to ICCA on its website, along with other organizations including Citizens Climate Lobby and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a left-wing organizing group.