The spate of recent writings on the linkages between climate change, environmental justice, and the rise in youth activism is certainly not the first reporting on these issues, nor are the authors the first to connect these particular dots. The coverage does, however, underscore the opportunities at hand at next month’s Convening on Youth Co-Powerment in Washington, DC.

As you prepare to join a select group of peers in exploring how, together, we can co-power inclusive groups of young, environmentally-focused change-makers, please consider:

  • Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer just took to The Chronicle of Philanthropy to scold grantors and others for habitually short-changing climate causes. “The amount of global philanthropy aimed at putting the world on the path to a reasonable climate future is disgraceful,” Kramer wrote. “There’s no other word for it — with no more 3 percent of giving addressed to global warming. This is profoundly, unfathomably, maddeningly shortsighted. Any grant maker who just chugs along on the same issues without addressing climate is, truly, fiddling while the world burns.” Read article here.
  • In an article entitled ‘Environmental Justice Gets Its Day in the Sun,’ E&E News states “Environmental justice activists are working closer than ever with national environmental groups.” Mustafa Santiago Ali, vice president for environmental justice, climate and community revitalization at the National Wildlife Federation, noted “You can’t work on climate issues and not care about what’s happening on the environmental injustice side because that leaves a big gap in the process…The majority of fossil fuel facilities are located in communities of color and lower-income communities.” Read article here.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy also declared “’The New Youth Advocates’ will likely alter activism for many years to come…They take a more inclusive view of the issues. They see climate change as not just about the environment but also about racial equality, social justice, and indigenous rights…They are trying new tactics and making more strident demands.” Read article here.

Remember, too, it was just a few weeks ago that TIME magazine named then 16-year-old Greta Thunberg as its Person of the Year.

Again, we recognize that this alignment of facts, thought, and deeds has been taking place for some time, albeit at a glacial pace (remember glaciers?). But we are heartened by the gathering momentum, compelled by the urgent imperatives before us, and committed to fulfilling the promise of our March 18-19 convening.

We encourage you to review the articles above, post others you feel may be helpful to this group, and look forward to joining forces with you soon.