As we witness millions struggle across the U.S. without heat and electricity due to climate-fueled extreme weather events, it’s important to recognize that this is a first-hand example of climate change impacting low-income and communities of color first and worst. The intersecting issues of a changed Arctic jet stream pattern, aging infrastructure, and an electric grid that has met its limitations clearly highlights the urgent need for a just transition — to clean energy electricity, a smarter grid, and increased planning for equitable climate resiliency at the local level.
Across our organization, we’re feeling the love for climate action. Amidst the rampant misinformation surrounding climate change and its solutions, we’re thrilled by the daily momentum and dedication to intersectional climate solutions in national and local conversations. Wondering what intersectional climate solutions means? Check out National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy’s recent video explainer.
Thirty legislators and more than 200 people joined us for our livestream hearing, Minnesota Voices on Climate Change, co-hosted with the MN House Climate Action Caucus and Senate Clean Energy and Climate Caucus, wrapping the end of our successful EYEWITNESS book campaign. We will eagerly monitor the impact of the books and constituent letters on legislators’ climate leadership this session.
In another systemic approach to climate solutions, high school leaders with our YEA! programs have introduced the first-ever climate justice education bill in Minnesota this week.
The bill would require climate justice education to be incorporated in every subject across the state, along with a requirement that the MN Department of Education work with experts, teachers, and students to develop resources that educators can use to teach with a climate justice lens. We are very proud of the youth leading this effort, weaving together our core belief that solutions happen at the intersection of educators, youth, policy, and climate justice.
On February 23-24, youth ages 13-21 will build on this momentum with their own legislator meetings at our annual Youth Climate Justice Summit. The Summit also features youth-led workshops and skills building.
We are looking ahead to the arrival of spring, along with two other exciting events: our Talk Climate Institute, March 23-24, which builds confidence among participants to talk about climate change, engage in solutions, and craft their personal climate story. On Earth Day, April 22nd, we will host our first-ever virtual fundraiser breakfast, Voices to Power, featuring climate scientists Dr. Ben Santer and Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, along with musical guest Maria Isa.
This month, we said goodbye to our Senior Education Coordinator, Megan Weck, who joined our team in 2012 in an administrative role and grew her leadership across our community engagement and education programs, executing our Brewing a Better Climate series, Talk Climate Institute, and several Summer Institutes for Climate Change Education. We will miss Megan’s sense of humor and institutional memory for all things across our organization!
This also means we are hiring! Please check out our two job openings, spread the word, and join us at our many events!
Nicole Rom, Executive Director