June marked several milestones:
- We hosted our 10th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education where we celebrated 10 successful years of professional development, curriculum and training for over 650 educators since 2006!
- We participated in the 5,000-strong Tar Sands Resistance March in St. Paul, the largest anti-tar sands demonstration ever in the Midwest.
- We said farewell to several of our staff and youth leaders, including graduating YEA! MN leaders Kumar Flower Kay and Carlos Parra, our education intern Jordan Pinneke and Natalie Cook in her capacity as YEA! MN Coordinator for the past two years, during which time she has grown the program significantly.
- Over 100 people joined our public forum with IPCC climate scientist Dr. Ben Santer and NOAA’s Frank Niepold that reflected on the advancements in climate science, education and solutions over the past decade.
- For the one-year anniversary of the Clean Power Plan, Will Steger and YEA! MN co-chair Kendra Roedl joined clean energy business leaders and health professionals for a press conference calling for a strong version of the Clean Power Plan to be implemented in Minnesota.
We are hiring a new YEA! MN Coordinator (deadline July 1). We’re looking for a young organizer interested in youth leadership development and climate change. We are also excited to announce our educator delegation for the UNFCCC COP21 climate talks in Paris next month so stay tuned for updates on this new initiative!
Save the Date for our new fundraiser – Wine & Dine for Climate – on Saturday, August 29th, 6-8 pm at the beautiful Alexis Bailly Vineyard. Enjoy the Vineyard’s organic wine, live music and food while supporting our work! More info on tickets soon.
We are looking forward to a bit of time to reflect on and evaluate our progress this past spring as we gear up for eight Climate Minnesota Convenings that kick off in September and our Midwest Youth Convergence, to name a few of our fall events!
Thanks for your ongoing support of our work!
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
10th Annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education
We were thrilled to have 70 educators and 20 presenters from 9 states at our 10th annual Summer Institute, held where it all started at the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley. This year’s Summer Institute featured a welcome address from Will Steger reflecting on the highlights from the past ten years of our climate change education efforts, and throughout the three days of professional development educators had the opportunity to choose different tracks according to their teaching interests and classrooms. We also held a public forum on Tuesday evening in partnership with the Science Museum and Fresh Energy, featuring NOAA Climate Education Coordinator Frank Niepold and IPCC climate scientist Dr. Ben Santer.
First Four Climate Minnesota Convenings Completed
This spring, we traveled to Bemidji, Crookston, Burnsville and Duluth to launch our Climate Minnesota local convenings, summarized in our blog post recapping the start to this project. We experienced firsthand the pride that these communities’ residents felt for their hometowns, and the different ways that they’re thinking about climate change as well as engaging in solutions. We left each of these convening communities feeling excited and inspired by the great work already underway and the new connections forged by these events. Now we are gathering feedback and assessing the lessons learned from our spring convenings to apply that knowledge towards improving the eight that we have left in the fall!
COP 21 Educator Delegation To Be Announced in July
We will be announcing the group delegation of educators that we’re taking to attend the UNFCCC COP 21 climate talks in Paris at the end of the year soon! More to come on this exciting opportunity to be a part of this critical moment in the international effort to address climate change.
YEA! MN Retreat to Steger Wilderness Center
Our YEA! MN program celebrated the close of its school year with a student retreat at the Steger Wilderness Center in Ely, MN. The weekend was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a year of incredible student organizing, honor our out-going seniors, engage new emerging leaders, and solidify friendships for the long haul. The fireflies were out and the loons were calling; we swam, played, got our hands dirty with a work project, and had an inspiring tour of the incredible Steger Wilderness Center. Many thanks to Will Steger and his team for making the weekend possible. A big shout out to our YEA! MN student steering committee for all of their hard work and dedication this year. Best of luck to our out-going seniors; we believe in your power to change the world!
Thank you Natalie! We wish you all the best in your next chapter. Thank you for all you have done to grow our YEA! MN Program!
Tar Sands Resistance March
On Saturday, June 6, over 5,000 people marched to stop tar sands from entering the Midwest through the pipeline expansion projects proposed by Enbridge, Inc. Climate Generation staff and youth leaders participated in the historic march and rally, where the strength of the Midwest youth climate movement was on full display. Our YEA! MN high school students joined over 400 young people organizing across the region, and youth voices were heard loud and clear in the youth block as well as the post-march speeches.
In an interview with WTIP, Climate Generation’s Director of Education Kristen Poppleton discussed the upcoming Climate Minnesota: Duluth convening, Climate Generation’s new name, and the Brewing a Better Climate fundraiser at Bent Paddle Brewery.
Climate Minnesota: Burnsville speakers, including St. Thomas Professor and Climate Generation Advisory Board member John Abraham and Nicollet Jr. High student Anna Bertch, emphasized the urgency and the opportunity behind acting to address climate change.
Ahead of the Climate Minnesota: Duluth Convening, Sustainable Twin Ports Board President Michael Kooi penned an Op Ed about the power of stories to motivate environmental action, encouraging Duluth community members to attend the event as well as share their personal stories that motivate them to tackle climate change.
Climate Minnesota: Duluth coverage
The Climate Minnesota: Duluth convening received a range of media attention, including a Duluth News Tribune piece anticipating the event and coverage of the event on Fox 21 News and Northland News Center. Both news stories featured interviews with Climate Generation staff, Kristen Poppleton and Jothsna Harris.
Summer has arrived! Here are some tips to increase your energy efficiency and save some money on your utility bills. Courtesy of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
Over 70 Educators participated in our 10th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education at the School of Environmental Studies.