Climate Generation Gist

May 17, 2017
By: Climate Generation

Building a better future

Letter from the Executive Director

We kicked off the month with our annual donor appreciation breakfast along with over 50 supporters, where we highlighted our steadfast commitment to our vision of an equitable and resilient future for all. We know addressing climate change means not just switching our fossil fuel based energy system out for clean energy, but also addressing the social, economic and human dimensions that got us into this place. We believe that by engaging educators, youth, individuals and communities in solutions to climate change, we can and will get there.

At the National Adaptation Forum in St. Paul this past week, Climate Generation was featured on the international stage. During the kick-off reception, we were honored to receive an award from the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership for our two-year public engagement project, Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions. The Awards Ceremony included awards for national and international-level work to advance climate adaptation. In addition, at the opening plenary the following morning we were proud to not only have the Twin Cities represented as an international leader in climate resilience, but also to have three of our youth leaders kick off the conference.

Our summary of the People’s Climate March – where we marched with educators and youth in Washington D.C. and at the solidarity event held in Minneapolis – is online and captures the energy and power of this important event in the climate movement, as well as the Youth Convening held ahead of the march.

We invite our business partners to join us for an opportunity to learn the latest climate science, best practices for talking about climate change, and suggestions for how businesses can take a leadership role at our Climate Communications for Business Leaders event on June 7th from 8-11 am at the McKnight Foundation.

As the legislative session nears its end in Minnesota, we have been working to ensure that our clean energy progress is not rolled back and that our Youth Convening Minnesota project as recommended by the LCCMR is not cut for partisan purposes. We have entered a time where we need to defend science, community, and climate action. Nationally, we are watching for the action the administration will take on the Paris Agreement after the G7 summit later this month. It is vital for the U.S. to maintain a seat at the table as the implementation of the agreement unfolds. Nevertheless, if the federal government is not going to advance the transition to a clean energy future, then communities, cities, businesses, and climate champions at all levels will step up and do it ourselves. There is already growing momentum towards climate action at all scales, regardless of the Trump administration’s abdication of leadership; indeed, that has only spurred further ambition among climate leaders here in Minnesota and around the country.

To build a better future, we must imagine ourselves there. Thank you for building a better future with us.


Nicole Rom, Executive Director


Learn how to convene your community on climate change: Webinar May 23!

Want to learn how to convene your community on climate change? Join our Public Engagement Manager, Jothsna Harris, for a webinar on May 23rd from 11-11:30 CST for the launch of our exciting new guide on how to inspire local stories and community solutions to climate change. During the webinar, you’ll gain insight into Climate Generation’s philosophy for public convening and how to meaningfully bridge the science of climate change with the actual impacts and solutions within our communities. Participants will also hear practical advice on how to connect local residents, resources and experts to prime this important conversation at the community level and ignite the motivation needed for sustained action. Following the webinar, the Climate Convenings Toolkit will be a free and downloadable resource, available on our website.

Education staff #teachclimate in D.C.

In the days leading up to the People’s Climate March, our Director of Education Kristen Poppleton and our Education Coordinator Jenna Totz were in D.C. for a two-day climate change education workshop with the Lowell School – they are revamping their 6th grade curriculum to include an interdisciplinary focus on climate change, and we have been mentoring them through that process for much of this year. At the march, Kristen and Jenna convened educators from around the country in the climate change education contingent. Along with several dozen education partners, they marched in the Defenders of Truth bloc, side by side with thought leaders like Jen Krester of The Wild Center and Vice President Al Gore. The march was not the end, but just part of the journey we are on to work together to make sure climate change is addressed quickly, equitably, and with our children’s future in mind. Read more about their experience and see some great pictures in Jenna’s blog.

Emerging Leaders

YEA! MN connects with national youth climate movement in D.C.

Traveling 26 hours on the bus from Minnesota, YEA! MN students from five different Twin Cities high schools joined 200,000 people from across the country at the People’s Climate March in Washington DC. The day before the march, several of our youth leaders took part in planning the high school track of the People’s Climate March Youth Convening, directly engaging over 60 high school students. The weekend was an exciting opportunity to step into the larger youth climate movement and bring Minnesota stories and strategies into the national conversation. Read more from YEA! MN youth bloggers here.

High school youth speak at opening plenary of National Adaptation Forum

This week, St. Paul hosted the National Adaptation Forum, which convened people from around the world to discuss and strategize around how communities can adapt to our changing climate. YEA! MN students Isabel Strebe and Isabel Watson addressed the opening plenary of this conference, along with Hafsa Islam, a student with MN Interfaith Power & Light. Sharing their experiences of family and climate activism, they urged the audience to engage youth in climate adaptation efforts and to honor everyday people’s expertise. Big thanks to these powerful youth for their leadership!


Support our Education Coordinator’s Climate Ride!

Next month, June 9-13, our Education Coordinator Jenna Totz will be biking from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo for climate action! She is joining Climate Ride participants from around the country to raise funds and awareness for climate solutions like clean energy, biking, and public transit. Support her fundraising efforts on behalf of our work – visit her Climate Ride page to learn more about why she’s taking this journey and make a donation.

Join us for a June event!

Throughout the month of June, we’re organizing and supporting several engaging and informative climate change events. On June 7, we’re hosting our Climate Communications for Business Leaders event from 8-11 am at the McKnight Foundation, which will feature an overview of the latest climate science, a business leaders panel and action group breakouts to spark climate solutions among local businesses. That weekend, June 10-11, is the all-night Northern Spark festival, organized around the theme of “Climate Chaos – Climate Rising” – we’re supporting the communications and climate messaging of this event, and invite you to volunteer at our table, or just show up and enjoy the free public art all along the Green Line! Finally, at the end of the month we’re hosting our 12th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education; learn more about the three-day training here, register here, and spread the word to teachers you know!

In the News

Hundreds turn out in Minneapolis for march opposing Trump administration’s policies on climate

On Saturday, April 29, Twin Cities area residents turned out for the People’s Climate Solidarity March in Minneapolis. The march was organized by a coalition of local nonprofits, including Climate Generation, the Sierra Club, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and others.

Thousands gather at the Capitol to support science

This Earth Day, the March for Science – MN and the Kids Climate March converged on the Capitol to show support for the validity of science and climate action, turning out over 10,000 people. Climate Generation education partners and our Director of Education’s daughter were interviewed in the Kare 11 news story of the march.

Photo of the Month

On Monday, May 8, Climate Generation staff attended the Awards Ceremony of the National Adaptation Forum, where we received an award for our two-year public engagement project, Climate Minnesota.