Climate Generation Gist

April 16, 2019
By: Climate Generation

Celebrating the environment & our communities

Letter from the Executive Director

Each year, Earth Day—April 22—marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Nearly 50 years later, the work continues as we address the urgency of climate change and accelerate solutions.

I recently had the opportunity to present our work and the need for bold climate leadership from across Minnesota’s state agencies at the Environmental Quality Board meeting. Commissioners left recognizing they have a unique opportunity to step up cross-agency actions on climate. We’re excited to support our state’s climate progress!

Also this month, our youth leaders behind the youth-led MN Can’t Wait movement called for intersectional climate action with the introduction of the MN Green New Deal. Working with policymakers and partners, this first youth-led, state-level Green New Deal bill is meant to spark government into action toward a just transition off of fossil fuels and into an equitable green economy. Read more about this effort and coverage below.

We are proud to recognize a few noteworthy accomplishments in our network:

  • Three Rivers Park District Climate Conversations series has received the 2019 Environmental Innovation award from Environmental Initiative, in partnership with Climate Generation;
  • Our Youth Convening Minnesota project received an Honorable Mention in the Rural Vitality category from Environmental Initiative; and
  • John Olson, our longtime partner and Science Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education is the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director’s Award.

Congratulations to our partners, colleagues, and youth activists who are sparking conversation, action, and change in their communities! Learn more about these efforts and ways you can get engaged in this month’s newsletter.

Finally, join us for breakfast at the Red Stag on May 7th for our annual donor appreciation event and hear from Will Steger, who is currently on his solo expedition.


Nicole Rom, Executive Director

Build Climate Literacy

Another Climate-Humanities Resource for Educators!

We released our second humanities module — Water Scarcity and Perseverance: A Humanities Module — this month in collaboration with Lowell School. This standards-based, interdisciplinary humanities module utilizes the true story of A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park to bring the discussion of water scarcity to the English/Language Arts, social studies, and science classroom. Educators can download this new resource for free from our website! Our Summer Institute for Climate Change Education – August 5-7 in Washington, D.C. – will be focused on grades 6-12 teachers in social studies/ELA/political science/environmental studies subjects. Scholarships available, register today!

2,000 Students Discover Green STEM Careers

Climate Generation partnered with Minneapolis Public Schools for a second year to bring Green STEM Careers to their annual STEM & Career Exploration Expo on March 20th, 2019. The Green Alley, a focused area of the Expo that highlighted environmental and energy organizations and companies, exposed every eighth grade student in the school district to the exciting opportunities in Green STEM Careers. Read more in this recap about the organizations and businesses present, the activities students participated in, and how students are thinking about Green STEM Careers.

Develop Powerful Advocates

Talk Climate: “I now know I am not alone.”

Our Talk Climate Institute ignited climate conversations across Duluth! Over 40 participants from across the Midwest built their confidence to talk about climate change, discovered their climate stories, and developed skills to unpack dynamics on beliefs and behavior to find common ground on climate change. With an intentional effort to elevate Indigenous voices that are often not included in mainstream conversations on climate change, we were honored to have Indigenous perspectives and Traditional Ecological Knowledge shared with participants through powerful speakers including; Karen Diver, Melonee Montano, and Robert Blake. Read more about the program.

What participants are saying: “Miigwech for all your work. With gatherings like this we can learn more about how climate change affects everyone, and everything. Without these gatherings we wouldn’t be able to come together, connect and work with people with different backgrounds to come up with solutions for a better future for generations that follow us.”

EYEWITNESS: Join the chorus of climate voices

There has never been a more important time in our history to share our climate stories. We are excited to open the call for submissions to EYEWITNESS, a collection of short stories, poems and sketches that speak to the diverse range of backgrounds, perspectives, and histories of Minnesotans and their experiences of climate change. This publication will be circulated in the MN Legislature, accompanied by testimony, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in April 2020.

Learn more and submit your work.

Elevate Leadership

Youth announce the MN Green New Deal!

Youth with Minnesota Can’t Wait made history this month as they released the Minnesota Green New Deal (GND) – a bill they co-wrote with Rep. Frank Hornstein that will shift the future of our state towards a green economy and liveable future. Based off the national platform, the MN GND calls for 100% clean energy by 2030, workforce development, a moratorium on fossil fuel infrastructure, and would establish a statewide Climate Change Advisory Council. We are proud to stand with and mentor these young leaders alongside our partners at iMatter and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. Read more about this youth-led legislation in media like MPR News, Fast Company, and ThinkProgress.

“We need aggressive action that does something now to save our future,” said Sophia Faacks, 18-year-old senior at Minneapolis South High School, MN Can’t Wait leader.

Climate Conversations, Three Rivers win Environmental Initiative Award

We are honored to have Three Rivers Park District’s Climate Conversations series receive the 2019 Environmental Innovation Award, in partnership with Climate Generation! This award is given annually by Environmental Initiative for partnerships fostering environmental breakthroughs in Minnesota. Held in five distinct park locations across the district, Climate Conversations is a two-year series highlighting how parks and natural resources are impacted by our changing climate. Read more about the award-winning series on our blog.


Act now for 100% clean energy in MN

To ensure that 100% clean energy is in Minnesota’s future, we need to act! Contact your representatives to let them know why you support the One Minnesota Path to Clean Energy before it comes to a vote on the house floor. Fill out this form to find and email your legislator in a few easy steps to show your 100% in on 100% clean energy! Don’t forget to share this video on your social media channels to let your friends and family know what a climate resilient, clean energy future is all about.

In The News

Amber’s Climate Story; as heard on Climate Cast

Hear a climate story from our Talk Climate Institute attendee, once a climate denier who is now a climate change advocate.

The Plant-Based Revolution

Our COP24 delegate Michelle Courtright, owner and CEO of Fig + Farro, shares why she opened a plant-based restaurant in the name of climate change action.

Austin Daily Herald‘We need the choir to sing’: Now is the time to start the conversation about climate change

Our Climate Storytelling Workshop this month at Jay C. Hormel Nature Center brought people together to get them talking about climate change and their part in it.  

Workshops Helps with Climate Change Conversations

FOX21 dropped into our Talk Climate Institute in Duluth to share the power of the storytelling-based program, hosted at the American Indian Community Housing Organization.

The ground may be white but MN’s New Deal is green

Student journalist from South High School wrote about the March Youth Climate Justice Summit at the State Capitol, hosted by our Youth Environmental Activists of MN program.

Photo of the Month

Youth leaders with MN Can’t Wait announced the MN Green New Deal alongside Rep. Frank Hornstein on April 10th.