Saying Goodbye, State Fair, and New Resources, Oh My!

Letter from the Executive Director

This month marks a difficult turning point as we say goodbye to a friend and colleague of 11 years – Abby Fenton, Youth Programs Director. As a founding staff member, Abby began as Education Coordinator for the 2007 Global Warming 101 Expedition to Baffin Island. Will and I asked her to research and propose a youth program after returning from Baffin. By 2008, YEA! MN was born, engaging hundreds of high school youth in climate action. A year later, eyeing the opportunity surrounding the 2008 Presidential election, we launched Expedition Copenhagen, working in partnership with the RE-AMP network where Abby soon became the Youth Caucus Coordinator, connecting youth to clean energy and climate policy campaigns across the Midwest. Abby has been an integral part of our organization, helping us grow and challenge ourselves to create an equitable and resilient future for all. Abby has brought boundless enthusiasm and passion to her work – reminding us of the tremendous power of authentic youth engagement and of the importance and urgency of equity and justice. The legacy she has created, especially with our youth program, will continue on long after her departure. Please join me in congratulating Abby on a decade of service to the youth climate movement here in MN, across the Midwest, and beyond!

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power hit the big screens this month. An eagerly awaited continuation of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, this film takes viewers on an emotional journey through climate change effects across the world, behind-the-scenes workings of the Paris Climate Accord, and the empowering proliferation of clean energy solutions – big and small. We were honored to be able to offer advance tickets to our supporters, youth, and educators. Our new Communications Coordinator, Lauren Boritzke, also had the chance to talk with the Directors about their eyewitness experience to climate change while filming, and the importance of balancing climate science and personal stories.

Finally, we have updated our website with fantastic resources from recent programming. We encourage you to check them out online:

We’re gearing up for another academic (and fiscal) year starting September 1st, with exciting ways to engage in climate change solutions! For those of you who mark the end of summer with an annual visit to the Minnesota State Fair, visit the Eco Experience building and meet our Energy Engagement interns! Thanks for your continued support and engagement.

Sincerely,

Nicole Rom, Executive Director

Education

Energy Engagement at the State Fair

Climate Generation is collaborating with the Minnesota Department of Commerce to offer an Energy Engagement Student Internship for eight college students this summer. Interns will be working at the State Fair in the Eco Experience building, where they will be speaking to Fair-goers about energy use and helping them navigate the energy displays. Prior to the fair, they will be at the Dept. of Commerce Energy Division, working with teams to acquire real-world experience related to their educational goals. This internship is intended to help these students learn effective approaches for communicating with the public about energy and climate change.

Climate Education and Opportunities Collective Impact Summit

Our Executive Director, Nicole, and Director of Education, Kristen, are headed to Sundance, Utah in early September to join hundreds of climate change education leaders working together to steer the American response to a changing climate and seizing the opportunities of a post-carbon and climate resilient future. The Summit will convene mayors, green economy business leaders, philanthropists, and education professionals to strengthen climate change education initiatives and generate action plans and ideas to capitalize on prior investments.

Emerging Leaders

Students urge Congress to speak out

YEA! MN students showed up at US Representative Betty McCollum’s town hall meeting Wednesday in St. Paul. Recent YEA! MN graduate Hunter Hawthorne asked McCollum why she has been silent on the proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline that would go through northern Minnesota. The students, as part of the Sunrise Movement, are organizing a visible presence at elected officials’ events to show politicians – and their own youth peers – that youth are paying attention and raising expectations on climate action.

MN Energy Fair

YEA! MN is excited to lead a workshop on youth-led climate solutions September 10 at the Minnesota Energy Fair. The fair will take place September 9-10 at Harriet Island, featuring over 100 workshops, exhibitors, and live music. Advisory Board member Michael Noble is a featured speaker. Learn more here.

Read outgoing Youth Programs Director, Abby Fenton’s reflections on a decade of youth climate leadership.

#ActOnClimate

Schedule a Fall Speaker

Are you looking for a way to bring climate change discussions into your church, school, or business this fall? Climate Generation staff are available to give presentations, facilitate screenings of our Twin Cities-PBS documentary, Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate, and lead climate change education workshops. We tailor all of our offerings to your specific audience and needs. Fill out our online form to schedule a visit today!

Speak Up at your Town Hall

The Town Hall Project is empowering constituents across the country to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives. Members of Congress hold local town hall meetings, especially during their August recess to hear from their constituents and share information about what’s happening back in Washington. Visit the Town Hall Project’s website to find a meeting near you and use your voice to speak up on climate action!

In the News

Will Steger’s videographer speaks to the challenges: ‘You’re not going to get a second chance’

Get the inside scoop on Jerry Stenger’s photographic journey with our founder, Will Steger, and his advice and best practices for shooting in extreme environments.

We asked 3 experts: Should scientists leave the U.S.?

In the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, French president Emmanuel Macron extended an invitation for climate scientists to come work in the country — an offer some American scientists are considering. Our Advisory Board member and climate scientist Dr. Ben Santer argues the case for staying put.

Photo of the Month

Abby Fenton (far left), our Youth Programs Director, has galvanized thousands of youth during her 11-year legacy at Climate Generation. 
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