Last weekend, ACE and Global Kids Action Fellows joined an impressive group of community leaders in New York at the International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit. Led by Keynote Speaker, Hasib Huhammad, the Vice-President of Greening Forward, and featuring Councilmember Costa Constantinides and the Department of Education’s Director of Sustainability, Sharon Jaye: the event was designed to provide “young environmentalists the tools they need to take their campaigns to the next level.” These tools included: grant-writing, engaging stakeholders, time-management, volunteer management and other techniques for a successful campaign. In addition to campaigning skills, participants also had the opportunity to learn more about a range of environmental and social justice issues for targeting their campaign skills.
At the Summit, ACE Educator, Maayan Cohen and the New York Action Fellows held a workshop designed to teach the fundamentals of climate science and consequences as well as engage the participants in mapping out the barriers to youth participation in driving climate change solutions and how to overcome those barriers. After delivering a portion of the ACE Assembly, Maayan and the fellows then facilitated an Image Theatre activity: in which the participants worked to visualize the barriers that youth face in driving forward climate solutions and being heard. The group of 25-30 then discussed what they saw in those barriers and how they felt impacted by them. The next step was to invite additional actors to be "change-makers", adding themselves to the image to illustrate solutions for overcoming the barriers": the point of the activity being to identify how young people can increase their participation and influence in their community.
One of the major highlights of the Summit was Council Member’s Costa Constantinides’ talk, in which he highlighted the importance of youth leadership towards achieving the city’s sustainability goals. He referenced his work with Global Kids and ACE Action Fellows on the Climate Education Resolution as an example of young people holding their elected officials accountable. He spoke of how much it means to him to be working on this issue and to have the support of young people, as well as established organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council. This was a great show of support for the Action Fellows and reinforced the importance and the value of their work.
Do you want to show support for the the Action Fellows and their work with Council Member Constantinides to bring climate education to New York? Sign this petition on Change.org and stay tuned for more information!