minnesota

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On Wednesday, April 19, more than 50 young people met with Governor Mark Dayton as part of Water Action Day, to express their unique hopes and concerns about protecting our water resources here in Minnesota for our generation, and all those who follow.

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On Saturday, March 4, more than 200 people—mostly youth under the age of 30—took to the streets of small-town Whitewater, Wisconsin, in a March Against Pipeline Expansion.

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Members of the Indigenous Youth Ceremonial Mentoring Society—who had traveled all the way from St. Paul, Minnesota, to participate—led the march. Starting from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater campus, marchers made their way through town, down Main Street, and eventually to the scenic Cravath Lakefront Park.

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By Kendra Roedl, Minneapolis

It was at Power Shift 2013 that I first felt a strong, noticeable call to action as an activist and organizer. As a sophomore in high school, I attended as a member of my school’s environmental club, where I had been taking on more responsibility for projects like improving the recycling system in our cafeteria and getting more people to compost.

824 Minnesota youth and students gather at the beginning of the MN Youth Forward summit

 

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Thursday afternoon April 3rd, 300 protesters from across the Great Lakes region from multiple generations, marched with high spirits through the final fits of winter, to a contested case hearing, holding Enbridge on trial to re-examine the need to expand tar sands infrastructure, specifically Line 67, the Alberta Clipper, which would transport 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day across MN to Lake Superior.

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After three years working in the Crossroads of America I have made my way up to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. As someone who is new to Minnesota there is a bit of a learning curve for me when it comes to working in a new state. I'm not new to the youth climate movement however and I know that when opportunity knocks, you answer. Right now in Minnesota, opportunity is knocking hard. 

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math 01At times, momentum can feel like a rare thing, kind of an endangered species. As an organizer and youth worker, I’ve learned that it’s typical for hours of emails, meetings, and phone calls to result in smaller-than-desired attendance and engagement. Sometimes our rallies, marches, lobby days, or conferences consist of a few dedicated young advocates, and not the revolutionary multitudes that we had initially hoped for.

But on Saturday December 1st at the University of Minnesota, this was not the case. Thanks to the momentum built by 350.org’s dynamic presentation on campus the night before and by the beautifully executed organizing efforts of MN350, MN Youth Environmental Network (MNYEN), and YEA! MN, a program of the Will Steger Foundation, the Climate Math that Works conference was full of energized high-school and college students from around the state, elders, and other community members.

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"Wilderness instills us with something larger than ourselves."

-Photographer Jeff Jones, the artist whose works were displayed at a recent event I'll share insights and reflections about in the following post.

For being over 2,500 miles away from Alaska, there’s quite a lot of Minnesotans who proudly care about the Arctic environment!

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Wake up. Bike from my home in St Paul over to South Minneapolis. Meet up with other passionate people to plan how to deliver 40 free workshops on home energy efficiency to local residents. Attend a fabulously raucous group lunch and engage in a vibrant discussion on how capitalism fits into our vision of the green economy. Learn about urban bee keeping, then bike back across the shimmering Mississippi to repair donated bikes and laugh with a motley crew of community members while learning how to distinguish brake from shifter housing. Bike home under blue skies, listening to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution TED Talk on my MP3 player.

      

A year ago, I would have termed that a youthful fantasy born out of an head too full of wanting to do it all at once: biking and gardening and weatherizing—making a positive difference in the world while growing personally and maintaining personal well-being in the process. Now, I would call that description a Monday at Summer of Solutions Twin Cities.

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