As summer heat brings farmers’ markets and fresh veggies, it’s time to celebrate the harvest. This year, youth involved in our programming accomplished some pretty amazing things across the climate movement. It’s important that we remember to enjoy what youth leadership brings to this issue and reap the success of the seeds they’ve planted.
Here are seven accomplishments our youth led this year:
1. Hosted five climate convenings across Minnesota
Spanning over 300 miles of the state, youth in Greater Minnesota collaborated with each other and their communities to plan and lead public conversations on climate solutions in their hometowns. This program, Youth Convening Minnesota, is a project of Climate Generation, led in partnership with Youth Eco Solutions (YES!).
2. Governor Dayton committed to action
Youth from across Minnesota gathered at the Capitol during our Youth Climate Justice Summit to meet with legislators and advocate for policy that takes their futures seriously. In a meeting with Governor Dayton, youth secured commitments from the Governor to veto dangerous bills and support important policy such as the creation of a taskforce on missing and murdered indigenous women.
3. Built the MN Sunrise Movement
When the Sunrise Movement launched in Minnesota last summer, youth and alumni from our Youth Environmental Activists of MN (YEA! MN) program showed up to lead. Since then, they have held elected officials accountable to fight for climate justice policies and helped recruit candidates to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.
4. Pushed city councils to take action
Working with our partner organization, iMatter, youth have won climate resolutions and commitments to engage youth from city governments across the U.S. Youth who connected with iMatter through YEA! MN started a chapter in St. Paul and met with the new city administration to push their climate goals further.
5. Created momentum around stopping Line 3
Partnering with a broad coalition of organizations, youth called for job creation to clean up the leaking oil pipeline that crosses Leech Lake Reservation and fought to reject the pipeline proposed to cross the headwaters of the Mississippi. They showed up to marches, hearings, and resistance camps to stop the Line 3 pipeline.
6. Kickstarted school climate action projects
Youth worked with their school environmental clubs to lead projects ranging from carbon-footprint-shrinking activities like Bike to School Week to educational events, like workshops on environmental racism.
7. Built community
Most importantly, our youth built relationships and broadened their circle. They practiced vulnerability and honesty, challenging each other to express greater courage. Supporting each other through the stresses of high school, they sang, broke bread, and made the climate movement their own.