Climate Generation Gist

May 15, 2019
By: Climate Generation

Turning climate grief into action

Letter from the Executive Director

We know climate change is heavy. The United Nations report released last week issues a sober reminder about the state of biodiversity on our planet: 1 million species are at risk of extinction, with human-induced climate change one of several culprits. We know climate change is an emotional experience as we witness the world change before us. As an organization dedicated to solutions, we rely on our incredible social network, all of you, to find ways to take action big and small, which eases the very real climate grief we feel at times. Read how one of our youth leaders from Forest Lake is turning her climate grief into action.

Our actions are making a difference. More people are sharing their experiences, speaking up, and shifting the political dynamics. Youth leaders organized their peers and communities to host conversations on climate in Forest Lake, Red Wing, and Fond du Lac. Minnesota’s new science standards are headed to the Commissioner of the Department of Education and include climate science for the first time. Our curriculum resources were recently featured in an NPR story on incorporating climate in any classroom. Our Dine for Climate series raised $3,000 and inspired hundreds to make the connection between climate change and their fork. Finally, 100% clean energy legislation passed the Minnesota House and will be heard in a conference committee soon, emphasizing it is time to unite behind an equitable, clean energy future we all need and deserve.

It’s also heartening that for the first time, climate change is ranked as a top voter issue in Minnesota and the U.S.! We are proud to see Minnesota’s U.S. Senator Tina Smith introduce a bill for 100% clean electricity nationwide by 2050! Signs of progress are all around us when we take a closer look.

Thank you for engaging in solutions with us!


Nicole Rom, Executive Director

Build Climate Literacy

Summer Institute for Climate Change Education

Prepare your students to be global citizens. Connect the dots between climate change and economic, social, and political dimensions. Use literature and language as a bridge to understand the complexities of climate change. Join us at our 14th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education in Washington, D.C. on August 5-7. Featuring keynote speaker Mamta Mehra, PhD and senior fellow at Project Drawdown, who will dive into the most comprehensive plan to reverse climate change and share ways to engage students in solutions. Scholarships available, educators with a humanities focus are encouraged to register today!

Fired up, ready for solutions!

It’s a wrap on Youth Convening Minnesota for this year! Over seven months, we supported three incredible high school youth teams from Fond du Lac, Forest Lake, and Red Wing as they organized community-wide events featuring climate change science and stories. Over 100 people across these cities came together to engage in conversation and participate in hands-on solutions in their own community. Thanks to McKnight Foundation, fired-up youth, local partners, and mentors who made this program possible! We’re proud to receive an honorable mention in the Rural Vitality category for this project from the 2019 Environmental Initiative Awards.

Develop Powerful Advocates

Youth and partners tackle racial equity

Akira Yano and Women for Political Change lead an activity to explore environmental privilege at the Youth Climate Justice Summit.

Unconscious racism has been a major roadblock to our social movements becoming as powerful as they need to be. Youth with Climate Generation and partners with MN Can’t Wait have been exploring this history and doing personal work to shift this in their own lives. Using Layla Saad’s Me & White Supremacy Workbook, some youth and adults are exploring how unconscious racism shows up in their lives. Meanwhile, partners in the movement, Sophia Benrud and Nazir Khan, have begun convening a study group for Black & Indigenous folks and other people of color engaged in climate work, and are inviting youth to join.

Elevate Leadership

What a Green New Deal means to Minnesota

Hundreds of youth have gathered at rallies, strikes, marches, and meetings with elected officials throughout the last year calling for bold climate action. High school students worked with legislators and community partners to introduce a bill for a Minnesota Green New Deal last month. Read more about these incredible leaders and their vision for a sustainable and equitable future for Minnesota.

Zaria’s Climate Story

We are all eyewitnesses to climate change and can advocate for action and engage in solutions in ways that feel personal and achievable. We’re proud to highlight youth leader Zaria Romero of Rochester, MN, who was a participant in our 2018 Youth Convening Minnesota program. She recently shared how she minimizes the waste she creates through her zero waste lifestyle with Minnesota Public Radio’s Climate Cast broadcast. Listen now, and learn more about how you can go zero waste with our resources and webinar!


Become a Climate Reality Leader!

EVENT ALERT! Join the ranks of thousands of individuals who have become local leaders for climate action through Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps. The 3-day training is coming to Minneapolis on August 2-4th! Anyone who is interested in learning how to lead the global fight for climate solutions can apply to attend. It’s free and we’re proud to be a partner!

In The News

Joel’s Climate Story; as heard on Climate Cast

Hear a climate story from Joel Light, University of Northwestern St. Paul biology professor and 2019 Talk Climate Institute participant.

Youth spark community conversation on climate changeForest Lake Lowdown

“A sense of hope and action and that kind of thing is what inspires people to become involved and become educated (about climate change),” said Youth Convening MN leader Annica Stiles. “I remain optimistic about the future—but not without changes that need to be had.”

Zaria’s climate story; as heard on Climate Cast

Hear youth leader Zaria share her climate story about living a zero waste lifestyle on MPR.

8 Ways To Teach Climate Change in Almost Any Classroom

We’re excited to have our curriculum featured in NPR’s treasure trove of resources!

Lowell School to co-host climate change institute that dovetails with humanities curriculum

Our upcoming Institute for Climate Change Education and partnership with Lowell School is bringing climate change to humanities educators nationwide.

RWHS teacher, students to discuss climate change

Red Wing’s Youth Convening MN program featured in Red Wing Republican.

Young Minnesotans with ‘climate grief’ are feeling anxiety – and taking actionStar Tribune

“Those of us who work in the climate change world see young people mourning the losses that are coming,” said Sarah Goodspeed, our youth and policy manager. “These reactions are real and valid.”

Students attend soil health workshopSt. James News

Climate Generation offered a workshop for youth to connect soil health and climate change to create a local action plan.

Photo of the Month

This month, we opened submissions to our newest climate stories project, EYEWITNESS.