Uncommon Solutions

Intersections1On the evening of Thursday, December 12th - just before the close of fall semester - we aimed to do something different, and we succeeded.

An intergenerational mix of over 40 people gathered at the Civitas School of Leadership in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. We shared ideas across a spectrum of topics: Waste/Resource Management, Energy, Art Activism, Plastic Pollution, and Health/Food Deserts.

ACE Climate Action Fellows and Staff from Southern California joined with ACE Staff from Oakland HQ, representatives from local organizations, civic leaders, and our VIPs: students and teachers from across Los Angeles, to have an honest dialogue about the possibilities for climate solutions in our great metropolitan city.

The Intersections event encapsulates what ACE is all about; the power of student voice, and the influence that the millennial generation has in launching the waves of action necessary to combat climate change. Youth brought us together that Thursday night, and youth will help us rise above this global challenge, starting in our communities, through media channels and beyond.

While folks noshed on food from Tribal Café and enjoyed a special treat of bicycle-churned ice cream from Peddler’s Creamery in Downtown LA (served up by the owner himself, Edward Belden, who cycled his way over to the event), connections were established and new ideas sprung forward from an uncommon approach to sustainable solutions: a lateral, “open door” format that took the microphone out of the hands of the likely suspects, and turned it over to each and every person who was moved to share their own insights and experience. One such example of a collaborative plan is energy reduction kits for all LAUSD high schools, replete with promotional media produced by students themselves to help raise their peers’ awareness about this crucial issue.

Intersections3Our friends and representatives from such organizations and groups as Republic Services, The Alliance to Save Energy PowerSave Schools Program, Green Living Project, Sachamama, Stop Plastic Pollution, and Kaiser Permanente helped lead the solutions-based discussions that took place at each table, in collaboration with our high school-age Climate Action Fellows. Other participants included representatives from Benjamin Franklin Senior High School, Environmental Science and Technology (ESAT) Academy, Roybal Learning Center, LAUSD Sustainability, the office of Mayor Garcetti’s Chief Sustainability Officer Matt Petersen, the office of LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), and more. We are excited to move forward together!