Standing Strong

Letter from the Executive Director

gtmd-2016-homepage-slideIf you haven’t read our post-election reflection, After the Flood, I encourage you to do so. Fundamentally, our work hasn’t changed; more than ever, we must work together to build a big community that will demand climate action and engage in solutions to climate change. Will Steger recently gave the keynote address at the inaugural 2016 Minnesota Clean Energy Community Awards, where he not only shared his Eyewitness to Climate Change perspective, but also reflected upon the expeditions where he wasn’t successful. Will talked about how he came home from these experiences and wasn’t defeated by the loss; instead, he was empowered to organize even better, and to do it again, better and with more resolve. The next time, he succeeded in achieving his goal. This holds true for us and our work today.

Despite federal inaction in the years ahead, we see that our clean energy economy in Minnesota is growing, and wind and solar present cost-effective solutions that will continue to move us forward. The market is responding to cheaper clean energy, and banks and finance agencies are starting to step up to meet the growing demand for low carbon solutions. Individual and community level actions are even more important, and they are still happening. All this represents progress.

We are proud to have an intergenerational delegation on the ground during COP22 this month, sharing this experience with us and our followers. They are also representing our commitment to continuing our climate progress made in Paris last year. The momentum leading up to and following the Paris Agreement is not going to disappear; it is only going to become more powerful.

This week marks Minnesota’s annual day of giving, Give to the Max Day on Thursday November 17th. We have a $1000 match and hope you will consider supporting our work to:

  • Deliver award-winning curricula and valuable professional development programs to thousands of educators a year;
  • Engage hundreds of youth through our Emerging Leaders Program, with a focus on peer mentorship, leadership development and climate action projects on their school campuses and in their communities;
  • Inspire thousands of citizens throughout the state of Minnesota to take action for a clean energy future.

Finally, we are super excited about our 10-Year Celebration which kicks off with several public events the week of November 28th, after the Thanksgiving holiday. Our anniversary event is Thursday, December 1, with an After Party to follow. We are poised to celebrate where we’ve been and chart a hopeful course for our future. I can’t think of a better time to come together with our community and to lift up our work and each other.

Kind regards,
Nicole Rom, Executive Director

Education

Spread climate literacy, now more than ever

teachersdrawingAre you a naturalist, museum educator, or after school youth program leader? Do you work with community members and the public? Our new Institute for non-formal educators is geared toward anyone interested in learning the skills of how to communicate about climate change in non-formal educational settings. Participants will have the opportunity to practice climate storytelling, engage in hands-on activities, network with other non-formal educators, and much more.

Join us at the Audubon Center of the Northwoods for our 3-day Institute for Non-formal Climate Change Education, March 13-15, where you will engage in climate change activities and workshops, as well as have the chance to explore the beautiful Minnesota northwoods. One full day will be presented by NNOCCI, the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation. They are highly skilled in communicating about climate science and we want you to gain that confidence, too!

A school for climate solutions

lowellsummitgroupTwo weeks ago, we facilitated a day-long Climate Change Education Summit for middle school teachers at the Lowell School in Washington, D.C. Their Director of Middle School, Kavan Yee, approached us earlier in the fall about his vision for integrating an interdisciplinary climate change curriculum into Lowell’s sixth grade studies. During the Summit, we led the teachers, parents and administrators who assembled through a full day of learning, activities and reflections on the importance of climate change education, best practices, and how it could fit in at Lowell. Check out our blog post highlighting the events of the day: A School for Climate Solutions.

Your Window Into Marrakech

Our COP22 delegation continues to energetically and passionately engage with the international climate change negotiations taking place in Marrakech. Johanna, Siiri, Isabel and Craig have attended events, stood in solidarity with frontline communities, spoken on panels and raised their voices in support of strong climate action, which is needed now more than ever. Check out their latest dispatches from Morocco in our most recent Window Into Marrakech digest.

Emerging Leaders

Youth in the movement

yeamn-circleYEA! MN students are engaged in discerning the 6-point strategy for a Just Transition. This includes: fighting the bad, changing the story, changing the rules, moving the resources, building the new, and strengthening democracy. The youth leaders we’re working with are moving toward identifying solutions to engage in and action projects to lead in their schools and local communities. Join our upcoming YEA! MN Network Meeting next month on Monday, December 12 from 6-8:30 pm. We will be digging into Relational Organizing and other important tools to organize for climate action in your school. Contact yeamn@climategen.org for more information!

YEA! MN alumni join the party!

We are thrilled to welcome back three super-star YEA! MN alumni to our 10 Year Anniversary Celebration on Dec 1. Ethan Buckner, Siiri Bigalke, and Cole Norgaarden were each Co-Chairs of the YEA! MN Steering Committee between 2008 and 2013. They have since gone on to be leaders in advancing climate justice in their personal and professional lives. From the COP22 climate negotiations in Marrakech, to the Standing Rock #NoDAPL protests, to campus organizing, these young people will share the impact YEA! MN had on their lives at our 10-Year Celebration. Read their bios here and stay tuned for their climate stories, available in the coming months through our Storytelling Collection.

#ActOnClimate

We need your climate commitments now!

The future of national and international climate action is now far less certain than it was pre-November 8. We know we don’t have four years to do nothing – or worse, backslide – on climate change, so we’re going to have to up our actions at the individual, community, local government, and corporate levels to ensure we preserve our ability to leave our kids with a liveable planet. What will you do to rise to this challenge? Take a look at our Action page on our website, and some suggestions from environmental scientist Jonathan Foley or Slate meteorologist Eric Holthaus. Then, share your pledge with the world using the hashtag #MyClimateCommitment. These actions are powerful catalysts for change.

10 Ways to Celebrate 10 Years!

10-year-events-pageThe week of our 10-Year Celebration will include several other free public events that you can attend to help us recognize and honor our 10 years of climate impact, while hearing from some stellar speakers and climate advocates. The list of events is growing, but you can find the details for the confirmed events.

Give to the Max!

Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day is tomorrow, November 17. In our new political reality, we recognize that we now need individuals, communities, businesses and nonprofits to step up their actions in addressing climate change, and we are ready to stand by our mission, vision and values. Are you looking for a concrete way to show your support for causes near and dear to you at this time? We encourage you to make a gift on our website on this annual day of giving: www.climategen.org/donate; we simply can’t do this important work without you.

Photo of the Month

cop22-cg-team
Our intergenerational delegation attending the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco – Isabel Watson, Siiri Bigalke, Johanna Bozuwa and Craig Johnson – are engaging in a plethora of events and making their voices heard in support of strong climate action at the international level.
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