Around the United States, and especially so in the Southeast, communities of color are enduring a disproportionate health and economic burden from climate impacts. The Atlanta training was a powerful convening moment for the climate and environmental justice movements.
Climate Reality partnered with several key climate justice groups in the region, such as the Partnership for Southern Equity, the Poor People’s Campaign, SolNation, Justice First, and the HBCU Climate Change Consortium. Panels featured speakers from frontline communities, as well as breakout sessions on community organizing, using your personal story for social change, engaging diverse stakeholders in climate conversations, and what a just energy transition means for the US Southeast.
You can read about the training and the impact it had on college student Nina Barrett in a Washington Post front-page article, titled "Al Gore is near the end of his quest to save the Earth. Nina Barrett just got started".
The Atlanta training was made possible by the incredibly generous support of Climate Reality Board Member Rosamund Zander.
Additional support was provided by the Kendeda Fund and The Ray C. Anderson Foundation.
Communities across Australia and the surrounding Asia-Pacific region are experiencing acute impacts of climate change, from intensifying storms and wildfires to more frequent and severe droughts to blistering heat waves and sustained sea-level rise. Increasing sea temperatures also threaten the region’s coral reefs, including Queensland’s famed Great Barrier Reef.
Hosted in partnership with the Queensland Government, and coinciding with Queensland’s first-ever Climate Week QLD, the training explored the climate challenges and opportunities relevant to both Queensland specifically and the Asia-Pacific region generally.
Another key theme throughout the Brisbane training was elevating diverse voices from frontline communities. For indigenous communities and others, the climate crisis and impacts like rising seas and uncertain seasons represent an existential threat to their daily lives. Through the generous support of various funding partners, Climate Reality Australia provided scholarships to nearly 100 people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as individuals from Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and other Pacific Islands.
Residents of Minnesota and the upper American Midwest are seeing and feeling the effects of the climate crisis: extreme weather events and historic floods pose a threat to traditional foods and places, agricultural livelihoods, and outdoor recreation. Current community-based struggles – including pipeline construction on indigenous lands – are prevalent, highlighting the need to reinforce frontline and indigenous leadership and commit to greater equity and justice.
At the training, we were joined by an incredible group of programmatic partners – including Climate Generation, Fresh Energy, iMatter Youth, Isaiah, MN Interfaith Power & Light, Center for Earth, Energy & Democracy – who helped us place a spotlight on key local fights, including work to stop the Line 3 Pipeline, a proposed crude oil pipeline that would cross through northern Minnesota and threaten Native American reservations, as well as the Mississippi River and other bodies of water across the region.
At the training, we welcomed scholarship recipients from frontline communities, college students, and leaders from the Ohio River Valley in an effort to expand our coalition building in the region.
You can read more about the highlights of the training on our blog here!
The Climate Reality Leadership Corps Minneapolis-St. Paul Training was made possible by the generous partnership and support of Amy and Michael Stielow, as well as our additional funding partner, Askov Finlayson’s Keep the North Cold campaign. The McKnight Foundation generously supported a scholarship fund for attendance from frontline community members in the region.
In a country with almost no history of grassroots climate advocacy, we knew this would be unlike any training we had undertaken in the past. But with record-breaking extreme weather events occurring more and more while the country continues to embrace coal, Japan is in a unique position to take a stand and be part of the solution.
The training featured presentations, panel discussions, and skill-building workshops focusing on the science of the climate crisis, ways for citizens and groups to communicate key climate-related concepts and issues to various stakeholders, and how citizens can support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Bloomberg featured the training and Vice President Gore’s concern over Japan’s push to embrace coal here.