The devastating flooding that has hit Louisiana communities is the most recent example of historic, record-breaking events caused by climate change. The storm system produced three times the amount of rain as Hurricane Katrina, leaving neighborhoods submerged and communities displaced. The New York Times acknowledged the link to climate change, asserting that this is exactly the type of impact we are experiencing and should expect to see in the future according to climate models. This is why it’s becoming increasingly important to focus on climate resiliency and helping communities prepare for the impacts of climate change that we’re facing today. Our public engagement efforts are responding to this need by focusing on community resiliency and supporting innovative efforts to drive local action.
This September marks the beginning of a new school year as well as our new fiscal year. We’re excited to have a growing team of 10 employees driving our work with educators, students and schools; youth climate leaders and young organizers; communities; and business leaders and government to build durable will for climate action across sectors. This year we’re launching some new offerings, including:
- Revamped structure and deeper mentorship of our high school youth leaders and broader youth network through the YEA! MN program;
- Intensive professional development for educators teaching climate change each semester, known as Education Ambassadors;
- Community outreach through storytelling workshops, conversations with decision-makers , and community convenings; and
- Celebrating our 10 years of impact through a culminating anniversary event December 1!
This month we will also wrap up months of feedback, reflection and planning with a new strategic plan, or roadmap for our work over the next 3 years. We are excited to share our progress – within our own work and within the broader climate change movement – and hope you will continue to engage with us online, in person, and of course, at our 10 year event this winter! Stay tuned for exciting announcements about the event coming in the next few weeks.
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
Check out our newly updated educational resources!
What can I do? It’s a common question that people ask themselves in response to climate change. We recently updated the ‘What Can You Do?’ section of our website with ways you can educate yourself and others and ways you can take action, right now. There are a number of relevant articles to read, videos and blogs that discuss best practices about climate change communication, and several links to classroom curriculum, podcasts, and literature. You could even start a book club or host a film screening of your favorite climate change documentary.
Meet our Fall 2016 Education Ambassadors
The school year is upon us and we are excited to announce our new team of Education Ambassadors, a group of 4 teachers that we will support with professional development, resources and one-on-one guidance to bring climate change into their classrooms. You can read about each Ambassador here and learn about their plans to teach about climate change, as well as why they are excited to be a part of the program this semester.
Educators share why they #teach4climate
On Wednesday, September 7, Climate Generation joined with national partners in a social media storm to amplify the visibility of the #teach4climate campaign. #Teach4climate provides resources and support for educators around the country who are bringing climate change into their classrooms. We had educators in our networks share selfies answering why they #teach4climate, and our tweets throughout the day generated over 5,000 impressions on Twitter.
YEA! MN launches youth Core
Brand new this year, we are proud to announce the formation of the YEA! MN Core. Students from six different YEA! MN schools are participating in this program, September-June, designed to provide a deeper grounding in climate literacy and political education, training on organizing and facilitation, and experiential learning through field visits and youth-led action projects. Core members will take an active role in supporting our monthly YEA! MN Network meetings and work directly with program staff to support youth leadership and action on climate change solutions. This year’s participants hail from Minneapolis South High School, DeLaSalle High School, Patrick Henry High School, Breck School, Irondale High School, and Avalon Charter School.
Fall opportunity for youth to act on climate
Young people play a unique and critical role in shaping climate legislation. Whether or not they are old enough to vote, young people are a powerful reminder of what is at stake – their future. This fall, Climate Generation will continue our youth policy cohort program, engaging high school and college-age youth in support of a strong and just Clean Power Plan for Minnesota. We look forward to working with our partners at MPIRG and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change to organize around a Youth Climate Justice Lobby Day this spring, and continue to push Minnesota to be a national leader on climate policy.
Meet our YEA! MN program intern
We are excited to welcome Sophie Downey to the Climate Generation team as the YEA! MN Program Intern! Sophie is a junior at Macalester College, majoring in Environmental Studies and Biology, with an emphasis on Environmental Justice. She is a member of the Environmental Justice Task Force at MPIRG, and a Core Member of Fossil Free Macalester. Sophie attended our Midwest Youth Climate Convergence last October, and brings a wealth of enthusiasm to her role supporting YEA! MN school outreach and program logistics.
Our website now features more ways for you to Take Action!
The actions you can take to address climate change are as varied as the multiplicity of climate impacts. All of us can do something, and when we combine our efforts, the collective impact is powerful. We recently updated the Take Action section of our website to reflect the variety of ways that you can engage in solutions, and the importance of working together to scale up our impact! Actions include writing a letter to an elected official, developing your own climate story, and taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint. Check out the new page here.
President Obama interviewed on climate change
In a recent interview with The New York Times, President Obama called climate change the greatest long-term threat facing the world, and added that, “more than health care, more than righting a sinking economic ship, more than the historic first of an African-American president, he believes that his efforts to slow the warming of the planet will be the most consequential legacy of his presidency.” Read the story and listen to the interview here.
Thank you to our 10-Year Celebration Host Committee and sponsors!
The planning process for our 10-Year Celebration continues, and we want to say a huge thanks to our 10-year host committee and sponsors that are supporting our event. Visit our website if you’re interested in being a sponsor or purchasing a table! Stay tuned for exciting details later this month, when we will announce our MC and keynote speaker!
Corporate Sponsors: Xcel Energy, Aveda, Askov Finlayson, Best Buy, Great River Energy, Ever-Green Energy, Andersen Corporation, Bent Paddle Brewing Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Elness Swenson Graham Architects, Inc., Software for Good, Peace Coffee
VIP Table Sponsor: Bridget and Ross Levin, Jud Dayton, Darby Ringer
Host Committee: Gordon and Josephine Bailey and Joe and Michael Bailey; Chuck Bennett; Heidi Bing; David A. Brown Jr; R. Michael and Sharon Conley; Leigh and Peter Currie; Lynn Gordon, French Meadow Bakery & Cafe and Bluestem Bar; Will and Claudia Kaul; Joann and Dan Knuth; Kate and Sam Knuth, Kerry Walsh and Tom Meyer, Jonathan O’Conner and Eric Schlotterbeck; Kim Knutson, Julie Ristau & friends; Ron and Kimberly Kroese; Jim and Susan Lenfestey; Stuart and Kate Nielsen; Win and Binky Rockwell, Dodd and Ann Cosgrove, Kathleen and David Miller, Becky Rom and Reid Carron; Kavitha Sitaram and Raj Rajan; Don Shelby; Cathryn Kennedy Consulting, Ltd; Tim and Denise Seck; Fourth Sector Consulting; Jessica Hellmann and Institute on the Environment
Our Communications Coordinator Katie Siegner told the story of Climate Ride’s Climate Hike through Glacier National Park in a Yale Climate Connections article. Her piece focuses on the climate stories of the individuals participating in this unique form of adventure advocacy, as well as the climate story of the park, threatened by melting glaciers, increasing forest fires and changing seasons.