I believe Mary Annaise Heglar said it best: “The thing about climate is that you can either be overwhelmed by the complexity of the problem or fall in love with the creativity of the solutions.”
Our Climate is full of magic. We literally breathe in the magic of enabling action each and every day. From believing that climate change is a global human issue that transcends politics to the creative medium of artwork and resilience to the young people involved with Our Climate and the greater climate justice movement. This is the magic of working on a complex issue.
“Climate change is a complex, multifaceted issue. Why would we think that it’s just going to take one law or one group of people to change that? No, we need creative climate solutions that are going to address the climate crisis on the local, state, regional, national and international levels.” -Jasmine Sanders, Executive Director
When I think of the climate justice movement, I think of it as an ecosystem: each organization has its own niche. Our Climate’s niche is our ability to invest in young leaders, teach them the mechanics of policy, the art of storytelling and the value of direct communication with their elected officials.
Youth leadership supports young people in developing the ability to analyze their own strengths and weaknesses, set personal and professional goals, and have the self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and strategy to carry them out. Exposure is key for youth leadership. Getting young people in front of a variety of audiences to start building that networking and relationship-building skill set is of the utmost importance to us. What I have been so pleased to see and invigorated by throughout 2020 is how young people are using their voices to be leaders and advocate for causes that they are passionate about. This has been a year of opportunity for young people to step up and continue to develop their leadership skills.
Climate justice activism looks several ways, and Our Climate is the catalyst for young leaders to become visionaries and activists in their own communities. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to climate change. It needs an entire toolbox of solutions. This is the magic!
By Jasmine Sanders, Executive Director at Our Climate
Guided by her southern roots and seeing the impact of climate change on the Gulf Coast, Jasmine has been a passionate environmental advocate for over a decade. Prior to her appointment as Executive Director of Our Climate, she managed the strategic initiatives and special projects for HIAS, an $80 million international refugee rights protection agency, operating in 16 different countries with over 900 employees. Her passion for environmental issues and keen academic aptitude in the sciences and mathematics won her the coveted internship with the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee and a policy fellowship with Terpstra Associates, a DC lobbying firm where she advocated on Capitol Hill for agricultural and environmental issues. She holds a graduate degree from the University of Essex with a MSc in Tropical Marine Biology. Specializing in climate change, her graduate thesis detailed the Shifts in the Genetic Composition of three DMS-consuming cnidarians. Ms. Sanders is a graduate from the University of South Alabama with a BS in Biology and a minor in Spanish. A native of Monroe, Louisiana, she currently resides in Washington, DC. Jasmine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.