Date: Wednesday, April 22
Time: 11a.m.-12:30p.m. CDT


It was said 50 years ago, and it can be said now: April 22 is just the beginning. Join Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy to come together virtually as a community standing strong for climate action on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Tune in live to hear personal experiences of climate change, including; stories, poems and musical performances to uplift our spirits, create connection, and build solidarity. During moments of difficulty, grounding ourselves in our community and movement can help to encourage us.

The lineup of storytellers and performers make up a range of voices in the climate movement, including Ben Santer (atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), DJ Cavem (eco-hip hop artist with a mission to rap about climate change, food justice, and plant-based foods), Jessie Diggins (Olympic Cross Country Ski Gold Medalist and author of Brave Enough), community champions and more from Minnesota and beyond.

Climate Generation will also celebrate the publication of a new book, Eyewitness: Minnesota Voices on Climate Change. Eyewitness is a demonstration of literary activism with a mix of works from prominent and ordinary people, organized by themes of gratitude, loss, responsibility, resilience, and hope. Books will be available for order after the slam.


Strong Buffalo | Ben Weaver | Jessie Diggins | Marco Hernandez | Daniel Crawford | Will Steger | Kao Kalia Yang | DJ Cavem | Ben Santer | Michael Chaney | Juwaria Jama | Liz Lat | Chris Heeter

Featuring live graphic illustration by Lisa Troutman of Drawn Well.

Strong Buffalo
Strong Buffalo (Tatanka Ohitika) is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and a decorated Vietnam veteran. He has been writing poetry before there was anything called Native poetry, starting last century. His words, translated in more than 17 languages, three published books, six CDs, lectures and performances contribute to a world where we use creativity and options other than war, racism, classism, and exploitation to solve the problems that we all share, by just being alive.

Ben Weaver
Ben Weaver is a songwriter and poet who travels by bicycle. He uses his music as a tool to strengthen relationships between people and their local ecosystems. Ben’s most recent project Music For Free saw him riding 3000 miles from Canada to Mexico along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with his guitar and banjo making stops on the route to offer free performances to honor unification through diversity.  Ben has completed many wilderness music by bike tours, released nine studio albums and five books of poetry. Given the choice he will side with the animals, lakes, rivers and the trees.

Jessie Diggins
From Afton, MN Jessie Diggins was cross country skiing before she could walk. At 20, she was the youngest woman to finish top-5 in a World Cup distance race. On February 21st, 2018, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Jessie Diggins lunged at the finish in an epic, come-from-behind victory to grasp an historic first-ever Olympic medal for Team USA’s Women’s Cross Country Team. Growing up outdoors in MN, Jessie loves camping, kayaking, canoeing, gardening, and in general, being outside.

Marco Hernandez
Marco Hernández is originally from San Pablo, CA. His father is an immigrant from Puebla, Mexico and his mother is an immigrant from San Salvador, El Salvador. He moved to the Twin Cities in order to attend Macalester College. Marco recently graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Latin American Studies. With the knowledge he has gathered from academic, personal, and professional experiences, he is giving back and building power within communities that need it most. As the Environmental Justice Organizer at COPAL, he is working to fight for environmental issues with racial and economic disparities in mind, urging environmentalists and elected officials in the Twin Cities to think globally and act locally.

Daniel Crawford
Daniel Crawford is a graduate student in the Geography Department at the University of Minnesota and has been playing cello since he was nine years old. He also attended the U of M for his undergraduate degree where he worked on tree-ring research in the Center for Dendrochronology. In collaboration with faculty in the lab, Dan began exploring the possibilities of presenting scientific data musically; this effort culminated in two online videos, each featuring a performance where musical notes are directly determined by changes in global temperature over time. These videos quickly went viral and were covered in media around the globe. Dan anticipates finishing his master’s degree this spring. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, two dogs, and a cat.

Will Steger
Will Steger, a polar explorer, educator, and eyewitness to the effects of climate change, has accomplished the most significant polar expeditions in history. Steger led the first confirmed dogsled journey to the North Pole without re-supply in 1986, the 1,600-mile south-north traverse of Greenland in 1988 (the longest unsupported dogsled expedition in history), and led the first dogsled traverse of Antarctica in 1989–1990 (the historic seven-month, 3,741-mile International Trans-Antarctica Expedition). Steger has continued his commitment to the environment and education through Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, a Minneapolis based nonprofit he established in 2006

Kao Kalia Yang
Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer. She holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Yang is the author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction/Memoir and Readers’ Choice, a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Creative Nonfiction, and the Asian Literary Award in Nonfiction.In 2020, Yang will publish her second children’s book The Shared Room, a collective memoir about refugee lives, Somewhere in the Unknown World, and another book for children, The Most Beautiful Thing. Kao Kalia Yang is also a teacher and a public speaker.

DJ Cavem
Dr. Ietef “DJ Cavem” Vita the O.G. (organic Gardener) is an eco-hip hop artist, educator and vegan chef from Denver. His songs are about climate change, food justice and eating healthy. He’s performed at the White House, and has been featured in Oprah Magazine and on the Rachael Ray Show. His latest album BIOMIMICZ was released as a seed pack to spur listeners into action. He’s shared the stage with Moe Def, Nick Jonas, Rick Ross, The Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, Snoop Dogg, Wyclef Jean, among others

Ben Santer
Ben Santer is an atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He studies natural and human “fingerprints” in observed climate records. Ben holds a doctorate in Climatology from the University of East Anglia, England.  Ben has received a number of awards for his research. These include a MacArthur Fellowship (1998), membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2011), and the Procter Prize (2019). He writes for the Scientific American blog and has appeared on “Late Night with Seth Meyers”.

Michael Chaney
As an activist, youth advocate, organizer, and cultural artist I have dedicated most of my adult life to implementing transformative initiatives and educational programming that provide real solutions to real problems for real people.In 2010 when North High was under siege by the public school administrators that were elected to lead it, Project Sweetie Pie was born. We started as an act of social justice and social protest to save North High from the proposed threat of closure. We have grown into a progressive non-profit that serves as an incubator of sustainable thought and action centered on horticulture, urban farming, and green business.

Juwaria Jama
Juwaria Jama is a 16yr old environmental justice organizer from North Minneapolis, State Lead for the Minnesota Climate Strike, and represents congressional district 5 on the Minnesota Youth Council.



Liz Lat
Liz Lat is an avid nature enthusiast, food fanatic, digital designer, and devotee of community connection. She is a first generation Khmer American, an art and business student at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and a Programs Support Intern at Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy. Born and raised in the Shakopee, Minnesota, Liz finds her activism and design drive in the heart of Minneapolis. She hopes to form her own collective of creatives who create public installations to address social, cultural, political, and climate issues.

Chris Heeter
As a professional speaker, wilderness guide, poet, and founder of the Wild Institute, Chris Heeter has gotten to spend her career either in or talking about the wisdom gleaned from the natural world.  Whether it’s to CPA firms or small non-profits working on behalf of environmental issues, Chris shares stories from her sled dog team and from decades guiding wilderness trips in order to awaken our Wild sides and reach for what’s possible as individuals, organizations, and global citizens. Check out the Wild Institute here:

Lisa Troutman
For ten years, Lisa Troutman has operated Drawn Well LLC, an independent visual storytelling consultancy (accredited by IFVP), focused on graphic recording (live, real-time, illustrative note-taking at meetings and events). Lisa founded Drawn Well after shelving a career in product design and design research, accepting that the cumulative outputs of each would never align with her ambition to lighten mankind’s effect on the planet. Lisa relishes opportunities to amplify important messages, particularly from under-represented voices, ultimately making that information memorable, portable and shareable.

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