This month we welcomed two new staff members to our team:
Naelekya Bledsoe, Administrative Assistant, spent many years working in the administrative and customer services fields, including at Eureka! Recycling and most recently Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Naelekya provides administrative support to the organization and knows that climate change education is important for future generations.
Nicole Ektnitphong, YEA! MN Program Coordinator, is deeply inspired by the dynamic intersection between youth empowerment and community organizing. Nicole graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, where she studied Political Science and Peace Studies, was highly engaged in environmental sustainability initiatives, and served on a campus committee for diversity, equity and inclusion.
We also said goodbye and thank you to our summer intern, Grant Johnson, who helped with a number of critical projects for our website, Climate Minnesota, and our new curriculum. Grant is studying climate science at the University of Minnesota and is an avid violinist. You can see him in action at our Wine & Dine for Climate on August 29th where he will be playing with a few other members of the University of Minnesota Campus orchestra.
End the summer with us at a gorgeous vineyard! Join us on Saturday August 29 (6-8 pm) for our newest fundraiser, Wine & Dine for Climate, at Minnesota’s oldest operating winery, Alexis Bailly Vineyard! Enjoy a selection of organic wines from the vineyard, local food, and live music in an evening that celebrates local solutions to climate change. Tickets can be purchased online, along with luxury coach transportation round trip from the Twin Cities to the vineyard.
Thank you for your year-end support as we close our fiscal year on August 31st!
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
Climate Minnesota kicks-off again this September with 8 more convenings around the state aimed at building community capacity in climate change engagement; highlighting and sharing knowledge of local climate science and solutions via experts and use of stories; and increasing the climate literacy of Minnesotans. The program builds on the power of media for sharing stories and the importance of personal contact to reach a broader, more diverse audience.
We have been able to conduct an evaluation of the first four Climate Minnesota convenings and they show that our model of engagement is having an impact. A few highlights from our initial post evaluation results show:
– participants show an increase in their confidence to talk about climate change impacts and solutions
– the majority of participants said they met at least 2 people at the convening that they could email, call or meet with if they needed advice about how to deal with climate change
– 90% of participants said they have taken some steps towards mitigating and/or adapting to climate change since the convening.
Next Generation Climate
In September we will be releasing a brand new curriculum, Next Generation Climate that uses the Next Generation Science Standards as a framework for Grades 6-8 educators. The new Next Generation Science Standards introduce climate science into the curriculum starting in middle school and teaches high school students in detail about the effects of human activity on climate. Educators will need support from a-trusted resource to master this updated approach in their teaching. This resource will include six lessons that focus on the causes of the rise in global temperature. Students will discover the factors that have caused this temperature rise, research repercussions that the world is already experiencing, and participate in solutions that will minimize the human impact on our precious environment. Next Generation Climate is also aligned to the Climate and Energy Literacy Principles. Look for it in September!
Announcing! Midwest Youth Climate Convergence
Climate Generation is excited to announce the Midwest Youth Climate Convergence to be held in Minneapolis, October 30-November 1. The Convergence will bring together committed youth organizers across the region from the tar sands and fossil fuel divestment movements to build capacity for youth campaigns, build a stronger Midwest youth climate movement, and build a deeper strategy for re-investment in just and sustainable solutions. We are convening key youth organizers in the belief that we cannot create the innovative breakthroughs we need without a systemic and coordinated approach to grassroots organizing. We believe that youth bring the creative genius, the collaborative spirit, and the courage we need to secure a just and sustainable future for all. Registration opening soon. Thanks to Climate Generation’s Emerging Leaders team Maria Langholtz and Savannah Duby, for their excellent logistics and program support! For more information, contact Youth Programs Director, Abby Fenton: firstname.lastname@example.org
YEA! MN Welcomes new YEA! MN Coordinator
We’re excited to introduce our new YEA! MN Coordinator, Nicole Ektnitphong.
Nicole is a recent graduate from Gustavus, with a major in Political Science, Peace Studies and Civic Leadership. She founded Be the Change at Worthington High School, where she was a student, an amazing youth-led high school organization similar to our YEA! MN program. She continues to be highly engaged in the national divestment/reinvestment movement, and is currently attending a 350.org Training for Trainers in New Hampshire. She is already hard at work with our YEA! MN Co-chairs, planning the upcoming academic year.
Kendra Roedl, a senior at Minneapolis South High School and our YEA! MN Co-chair for another year is also spending the summer and her senior year interning with us!
Join YEA! MN and Climate Generation on September 1st for an exciting evening with Congressman Keith Ellison to celebrate the Clean Power Plan, featuring music and spoken word performances by climate activists and community leaders. Tuesday September 1st, 6-8 pm at the Colin Powell Center, 2924 4th Avenue, Minneapolis, MN.
Ahead of the August 3rd announcement of the finalized Clean Power Plan, Will Steger wrote an Op Ed for the St. Cloud Times addressing the moral imperative for climate action. Stating that “we are all eyewitnesses” to climate change now, he heralded the Clean Power Plan as our biggest opportunity to advance climate change solutions, both here in Minnesota and nationally.
Keep in the COLD: Central Air Conditioner Tips
Close windows and doors to give your central A/C a break during the summer. For tips check out the Home Cooling Guide from the Minnesota Department of Commerce Energy Information Center which has different ways to cool your home and best strategies to save energy and stay comfortable. Also, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Air Sealing Techniques has great information on caulking and weather stripping that will help solve air leakage to keep your home cool and comfortable.