As we reflect on the changing climate movement and our place within it in the last decade (2009-2019), here are our Top 10 moments from the past ten years:
- Addressing climate change requires systemic, structural changes. It begins with changing our cultural narrative. We must all find our voice on climate change and talking about it is one of the most important things we can do. In this vein, we launched a storytelling collection, MN Is Still In, and our Talk Climate Institute, recognizing we all have a story to tell and that when shared with others, it is a powerful tool for climate action.
- To influence international climate policy and bring the U.S. and Minnesota climate story to the international stage, we began taking delegations to the annual U.N. climate negotiations, starting in 2009.
- Recognizing climate change education is a critical solution, we greatly expanded our suite of curriculum resources for educators from two to seven, with additional Toolkits and Modules for “teachable moments,” and launched a new Green STEM careers documentary and discussion guide for students to learn about new green careers.
- By connecting with people beyond climate science, we moved the issue from the head to the heart through unique partnerships and offerings, including climate grief workshops and our Band Together concert.
- Acknowledging we are the generation experiencing climate change and holding the responsibility to address it, we successfully changed our name from the Will Steger Foundation to Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy.
- Expanded our educator professional development offerings to build educators comfort and confidence to teach climate change from an interdisciplinary perspective, reaching over 12,000 educators.
- Elevated the moral imperative for action through articulate youth advocates. We intentionally support young people to lead — their peers, schools, communities and policymakers to action. We expanded our YEA! MN program to serve diverse youth from across urban and rural Minnesota, and centered climate justice into our youth and policy programming.
- We integrated equity across our organization and into our programs. We know we must include all people in the discussion of and solutions to climate change. We cannot speak and work with majority white audiences to create equitable solutions to climate change. We began offering scholarships for people of color across programs, engaged and recruited more diverse staff, partners, board, and program participants, and launched a strategic equity action plan.
- We received recognition from the Obama White House, Environmental Initiative, and the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership for advancing climate literacy and community convenings in a nationally scalable model.
- Thanks to your ongoing and consistent financial support, we grew our base of support, expanded our budget, and added to our staff, Advisory Board, and Board of Directors!
This decade has not been without its challenges. Thank you for digging in even more when faced with setbacks. Thank you for being a part of our work—supporting educators, empowering youth, engaging communities, and catalyzing action.
We know the 2020s are a key decade for the future of our climate; arguably the most important in human history. Motivated by this urgency, we are poised to embrace this next decade with the same nimble, yet aggressive response to grow our movement for climate action. Together we will build the resilient, equitable future we envision.