Climate Voices

July 9, 2020
By: Climate Generation

Announcing YEA! Campaigns, Youth-led Climate Action Program

Announcing YEA! Campaigns, Youth-led Climate Action Program - Photo

Announcing YEA! Campaigns, Youth-led Climate Action Program
Climate Generation and iMatter Merge to Recharge City-Level Initiative

Climate Generation is excited to announce the integration of iMatter’s impactful climate change action campaigns for high school youth leaders into their youth programming, beginning in the fall of 2020. The merger will re-envision iMatter’s youth-led campaigns within a strong framework of environmental justice as part of Climate Generation’s long standing Youth Environmental Activists (YEA!) program.

“I’m just thrilled with the re-launch of iMatter’s program as part of Climate Generation and their YEA! program,” said Larry Kraft, former Executive Director of iMatter. “With their strong focus on environmental justice, they are the perfect partner to build on what was accomplished and learned at iMatter. I look forward to supporting this merger and Climate Generation in general as part of the Climate Generation Advisory Board.”

iMatter was founded in 2007 by a 13-year-old and launched their city-focused program in 2015. Since then, iMatter has supported hundreds of youth leaders who care deeply about climate change, providing mentorship to engage with local elected bodies and shift public will in their communities for necessary climate action. Climate Generation’s YEA! program, a multi-faceted mentorship program supporting youth to be active leaders in the Minnesota climate justice movement for more than 12 years, has been a partner of iMatter since 2016.

The revamped program, YEA! Campaigns, will align with Climate Generation’s state-wide YEA! Network and existing partnerships, focusing on five Minnesota communities in the first year. Youth ages 13-18 will learn and practice organizing and civic engagement by leading their own campaign rooted in environmental justice to shift public will and policymaker decisions in their communities that result in necessary and just climate action.

“The process of re-imagining a program that centers the voices and demands of young leaders in building campaigns on environmental justice issues is a difficult but rewarding task,” said Akira Yano, Youth Campaign Coordinator at Climate Generation. “As I’m laying the program foundation, I feel energized in thinking about how the future youth of this program can support the constantly evolving environmental needs of marginalized communities.”

Students will be mentored virtually using an online curriculum rooted in climate justice and organizing strategies. YEA! Campaigns will guide youth to build leadership skills, root their work with local partners, and target effective local climate solutions and systemic change, including school board, city or township, county commission, or other elected bodies.

“We are honored to take the successes and lessons of iMatter’s city level campaigns and build on it, while also expanding our youth programming in Minnesota and beyond,” said Nicole Rom, Executive Director at Climate Generation. “It is imperative that youth voices are heard to drive opportunities at the local level for climate action, where tangible climate change solutions can be realized.”