In the wake of the most expensive hurricane season in history, ACE created a new lesson plan aimed to help teachers guide their students to cope with the trauma and build resilience after devastating hurricanes like Maria. ACE had the opportunity to visit Puerto Rico to see the lesson plan in action and to hear stories from young people across the island finding hope after this climate disaster.
ACE stands with all young people - regardless of their immigration status. Whether it’s supporting their leadership to demand responsible, equitable climate policies from our elected officials, or fighting for the rights of the 800,000 Dreamers who could be deported from the only country they’ve ever known - we stand with young people from all backgrounds, races, gender identities, origins and abilities to demand justice.
This year, the ACE Action Fellows in Boston explored the issues surrounding climate justice, and we decided to pursue the goal of achieving commitments to 100% Renewable Energy from the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As we delved into this campaign, we’ve had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people—from frontline communities to the high ranks of state government.
Less than a week before the election, on Wednesday, November 2, four Boston ACE Action Fellows made the six-hour trek to Lake Placid, New York. On the ensuing Thursday and Friday, we met up with part of the iMatter team and students from Lake Placid High School, and together we traveled to the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY.
For many of us, the recent election of Donald Trump has been absolutely devastating. As someone who’s dedicated my life to working with young people to fight for climate justice -- many of whom are low-income, people of color, Muslim, immigrants, queer, trans and/or undocumented -- this new reality has hit me very hard and feels very personal.
On December 8, exactly a month after the election, ACE Fellows joined the NY Renews Coalition for a town hall at the People’s Meeting House to convince Governor Cuomo to flip the switch—a switch that would transform New York on a path towards clean, renewable energy. I was given an incredible opportunity to express the youth perspective during this gathering, and despite how tremulous I felt my voice to be, it was amazing to simply be able to speak.
This school year, the Las Vegas Action Fellows are conducting interviews for an environmental research project led by the University of Reno (UNR) and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN). The goal of the study is to demonstrate the environmental injustices that occur in Nevada by sharing powerful narratives illustrating how people are affected disproportionately based on factors such as race, class, gender, age, health, and more.
The results of the election have been a shock to many of us, especially those aware of social justice issues—and it is fair to say that the new United States President-elect has produced heightened feelings for many on different ends of the spectrum. However, one group excluded and overlooked from these divided narratives are teens—the young adults too old to create a bubble away from the policies that affect them, but too young to take advantage of their right to vote. Amidst all of the conversations about democracy, young people’s feelings do not deserve to be doomed in masquerade.
On October 19, 2016, New York City ACE Action Fellows attended the Offshore Wind: Charting the Path for the United States panel hosted by New York University’s Frank J. Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law. The panel of industry and government experts discussed the outlook for wind development off the coast of New York state and the broader US.