Climate Generation Gist

August 19, 2019
By: Climate Generation

We Must, We Can, We Will

Letter from the Executive Director

Climate RealityScientists have concluded that July broke all previous temperature records around the world. This is a clear sign of climate change, and it was a dominant theme in Nobel Laureate and Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality presentation earlier this month. We’ve sent our staff to the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training since 2012, yet this year it was held in Minneapolis and we were able to shine a light on our work and the climate leadership of Minnesota to an international audience!

Our Community Engagement Manager led the 1,200+ audience through a session on “Owning Your Climate Story,” helping people reflect on their personal experience of climate change. Youth leader Lia Harel presented her climate activism experience, beginning with her high school environmental club and involvement in YEA! MN and evolving to pass a climate resolution in her city with iMatter Youth, advocating in front of Governor Walz and legislators at the State Capitol through MN Can’t Wait, and culminating with a commencement speech on the need for zero emissions. The frame of the entire training echoes within our own work: when you educate, empower, and train people to act on climate in their sphere of influence, you create the change we need. Indeed, as Al Gore ended the 3-day event, he passionately claimed: “We Must, We Can, We Will” solve the climate crisis—encouraging everyone to speak truth to power like our world depends upon it, because it does.

We thank Jenna Totz, our departing Climate Change Education Manager, for her years of leadership and dedication to Climate Generation. Jenna first served as an Education Intern, then as a curriculum writer, creating Next Generation Climate, followed by developing our Green STEM Careers documentary, lesson plans and associate programming, and ultimately leading our climate change education initiatives. In addition, Jenna brought technology skills and encouraged regular social hours—all of which will be missed, but we wish her well as she focuses on raising her son Atlas, a future climate activist!

We also are honoring the service of our GreenCorps member, Maddie Mercil, who has spent the last year supporting our youth programming, mentoring high school students, and engaging deeply in Climate Generation’s internal culture. Maddie shared their experience and how they are approaching our work ahead to build a better future.

Finally, we’re very excited about our upcoming fall fundraiser and concert Band Together on November 16th, featuring Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced ‘shoe-tez-caht’), Chastity Brown, Jeremy Messersmith and several more noteworthy Minnesota musicians banding together to galvanize all of us to continue to act on climate. Tickets go on sale after Labor Day!

This month Climate Gen stood out as a true climate leader. I couldn’t be prouder to lead this organization!


Nicole Rom, Executive Director

Build Climate Literacy

Getting educators ready to #TeachClimate!

Summer InstituteThis month, our education program trained over 100 new climate change educators! A partnership the Audubon Center of the Northwoods allowed us to prepare 65 Minnesota charter school teachers to bring climate into their K-12 ELA, Science, Social Studies and environmental education classrooms. We were so proud to take our 14th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education to Washington D.C. in partnership with the Lowell School and NOAA Climate Office, focusing for the first time on the power of the humanities to connect students deeply with the issue of climate change. Read the recap here.

Looking for an opportunity to learn more about incorporating the new Minnesota state science standards into your classroom? Check out our upcoming fall workshops for educators.

Develop Powerful Advocates

Global Youth Climate Strike

On September 20, young people across the world are leading a #ClimateStrike for action on the climate crisis, the biggest threat to our future. We, as a global society, are at a crossroads. We have a decision to make. This strike is an invitation to choose us. Choose the kids, choose humanity, choose the future. Learn more and RSVP on Facebook for the Minnesota strike happening in St. Paul or RSVP for a location near you.

Elevate Leadership

Taking the first step is the hardest

Climate Story - Logan“The destabilizing pattern of climate change has begun to upset the complex balances of the environment, gradually shifting it from a refuge of escape to a source of anxiety for many people, myself included.”

We’re honored to feature our 2018 intern Logan’s climate story that was published in MinnPost—one of anxiety, finding peace, and enjoying what sanctuary means to us. Read his full piece here.


Save the Date for Band Together

Summer Reading ListMusic-lovers and climate activists, listen up! We’re excited to announce Band Together: a night of music, storytelling, and action to benefit our organization. Save the date for November 16th at the O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul to see performances and hear climate stories from your favorite Minnesota artists, plus featuring Xiuhtezcatl—19-year-old climate activist and indigenous rapper. Tickets go on sale to the public on September 7th!

In The News

How can I get a job that fights climate change?Grist

Our Director of Programs weighs in on green jobs and how STEM students have an opportunity to help the climate crisis.

Climate anxiety: taking the first step is the hardestMinnPost

Our 2018 intern Logan’s climate story published in MinnPost, highlighting the importance of finding our own personal sanctuary as a tool for action.

Photo of the Month

Owning Your Climate Story
Our Community Engagement Manager Jothsna Harris led 1,200+ activists at the Climate Reality Project Leadership Training through a session on “Owning Your Climate Story” this month.