Image: Our Climate’s first salmon mosaic, advocating for a price on carbon in Oregon (2015)
In the past five years that I’ve been at Our Climate, the organization has flourished from a young organization focused on carbon pricing to a national organization with deep ties in the climate justice movement, fighting for intersectional climate justice.
In 2016, I joined one of Our Climate’s first fellowship cohorts. Our Climate had just expanded from being Oregon Climate to Our Climate, with a national presence starting in the northeast.
In our early days, Our Climate student leaders organized our college campuses with the goal of getting college presidents to endorse carbon pricing legislation. Fellows organized film screenings, panel discussions, and event tabeling in our communities to get the word out about climate change and carbon pricing as a solution.
At the time, the youth-led climate movement was gaining momentum but was still a few growth spurts away from the powerful movement it is today.
In the past five years at Our Climate, I have watched the organization grow and reach new heights. In 2018, we expanded beyond carbon pricing to focus on climate policy that is science-based and equitable (you can read more about our policy principles on our website). We took an honest look at our work and knew we needed to show up for the climate justice movement as a whole.
I’m so proud of the journey Our Climate has been on. With the support of our amazing team and the powerful leadership of our Executive Director Jasmine Sanders, Our Climate ushered in a new chapter of organizational development. With the hard work of our student leaders, our work deepend to become intersectional and truly centered in climate justice, beyond just the original singular focus on carbon pricing policy.
We matured as an organization, doubled our impact, and found our niche within the climate justice ecosystem.
Thanks to the visionary support of Dr. Akilah Cadet and her Change Cadet team and many deep conversations with our team, Our Climate is proud to release our updated mission, vision and values statements:
Our mission: “Our Climate empowers young people to advocate for the science-based, equitable and intersectional climate justice policies that build a thriving world. We engage and train youth from affected communities and groups to participate in broad and diverse advocacy coalitions. Together, we build deep partnerships, mobilize, and center those most impacted by climate change to dismantle systemic oppression and achieve systemic change. “
Our vision: “Engage and empower young leaders to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution and achieve a transition away from an extractive, profit-based economy towards one that is equitable and regenerative to build a thriving world.”Our values: “Intentionally partner with and center young people and disenfranchised communities to further the environmental and climate justice movements.
Empower and mentor those most affected by climate change through deep relationships, skill-building, resources, and by building on solutions that local communities are already championing.
Prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism in all we do.
Commit to learning, curiosity, growth, openness and continuous feedback.”
To me, this updated mission symbolizes a new horizon for Our Climate. We are the same organization, but we’ve come a long way in broadening our reach and we are ready to reach new heights. Thank you for being part of this journey as we fight for an equitable future together.