Original piece done by Reese Brogden
When it comes to climate action, youth have a unique and powerful voice. In order to protect our future, Colorado youth have shown out in great numbers for strikes, phone-banks, lobby days, and more, relentlessly proving to lawmakers that we won’t give up until they take the necessary actions for a more just and sustainable planet. At 350 Colorado, there are multiple ways youth can get involved, and find community, as we work together for a fossil-free future.
Youth Action Committee (YAC)
A 350 Colorado committee, we are a team of youth that organizes to discuss the climate crisis in Colorado and what we can do about it. Whether it’s phone banking, making a petition, hosting a training, or planning an event, we do it with youth power and energy.
On Sunday, March 6th 2022, YAC hosted a youth climate lobby day training from 4-6pm and hosted Representative Tracey Bernett & Representative Meg Froelich to learn why lobbying is important, how to lobby your legislators, how to set up a virtual meeting with them and much more! You can watch the recording of it on our YouTube page here.
Our upcoming meetings are:
–> Movement Building Committee: Holiday Party, join us! Sat 12/10 at 7pm, Lafayette, CO! Register here <–
–>YAC: Wed 1/25 from 6-7pm – Join by Zoom here!<–
“As soon as YAC started, I realized that this is really what the climate movement is about. It is about the youth and the people taking a stand. It’s incredible to see us working together side by side fighting for our future.” – Phoebe, YAC Co-Chair
“I started working in climate activism my freshman year of high school. I very quickly came to realize that youth truly do have the power to make a difference not only in this movement, but in the world as a whole. Standing up and speaking out for what you care about creates a ripple effect among young people; your voice matters.” – Riley, YAC Co-Chair
- Build a strong coalition and community of youth across all of Colorado
- Give youth an opportunity to have a say in the future of Colorado
- Organize strikes, host educational events and webinars, etc. in order to further Colorado climate action from a youth-led perspective
What have we done together already?
- We co-lead the Colorado Climate Strike Coalition, recruiting over 10,000 strikers, 30+ strike events, and even hosted world-renowned climate activist Greta Thunberg!
- We have hosted phone bank trainings to prepare youth climate activists to encourage voting.
- We have organized Youth Climate Lobby Days in 2021 & 2022 to advocate to our legislators the importance of prioritizing our future when designing policy and passing laws.
- Continued to participate Digital Climate Strikes during the pandemic.
- We planned a strike and demonstration as a part of the global climate strikes from ‘Fridays for our Future’ on Friday, March 25th, 2022.
- Moderated statewide ‘Truth About Ozone’ webinar on Monday, July 25th, 2022 – check it out here!
- Organized, led, and hosted the For Our Future: Youth Climate Conference on Saturday, October 22nd, 2022 in Denver to empower youth to take climate action! There were resources from local organizations, food and drinks, music, youth speakers, and breakout reflection discussions for attendees. The open mic at the end of the day provided a safe and inclusive space where youth could share their stories and experiences with climate anxiety and empowerment.
Current YAC projects:
- Building a statewide coalition of youth groups to pressure Governor Polis to adhere to his Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction roadmap for the state; we demand true climate action!
- Using the public release of the documentary ‘Youth v Gov’ on Friday, April 29th, 2022 to create excitement and encourage youth to join our campaign in holding our elected leaders accountable to true climate action!
Ready to sign-up? Click here!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Do I have to be a certain age in order to join the Youth Action Committee (YAC)?
As we want to keep this committee youth focused, anyone that is 24 or younger is welcome and encouraged to join YAC! However, adult mentors are also welcome! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org first.
Where in Colorado do I have to live to join YAC?
Anywhere! No matter where you’re from in Colorado, you can join YAC. We have youth involved from all parts of the state as most of our meetings are held over Zoom.
When does YAC meet?
To put it simply, YAC meets every other month, on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 6:00-7:00pm. YAC is an essential committee that operates within, and in relation to, our Movement Building committee, which also meets every other month. Both of these committees meet every other month, rotating back and forth, so there are always opportunities for youth to participate in either or both of these spaces and help guide the organization’s work and campaigns!
April – Movement Building committee meets
May – YAC meets
June – Movement Building committee meets
July – YAC meets
Interning at 350 Colorado is a great way for older youth to become more deeply involved with grassroots organizing. Interns work closely with 350 Colorado staff and team leaders to recruit, retain and engage volunteers, as well as have the opportunity to work on statewide and local campaigns. These unpaid positions can range from 5-30 hours per week, with a minimum requirement of 100 hours up to a total of 200 hours.
“Interning with 350CO has opened the door to many resources and connections that have allowed me to structure my environmental work and maximize my impact, especially regarding fracking in Boulder County. The best part of interning with 350CO, however, is the people. Everyone is always on board to make a project idea into a reality and the reason 350CO makes an impact is the intelligent, motivated, and supportive community.”
“During my senior year of high school, I interned with Julia Williams, 350 Colorado’s former Communications Director. I loved every minute of the internship; it helped me further my skills in press outreach, social media, and leadership, deepening my involvement in climate activism along the way while still not being too overwhelming for a high school senior!”
Find out more about 350 Colorado Internships here!
Not a youth? Here’s how you can still support us:
- Donate to our current campaign, For our Future Youth Climate Conference in Oct. 2022!
- Tell youth you know about the Youth Action Committee and have them come to a meeting!
- Uplift and center youth voices and perspectives in your climate activism
- Follow us on social media and share our page!