Where: San Francisco, California, USA 

Solutions: Youth, Sustainable cities and communities, Education and advocacy 

Ocean Heroes Network was able to lead Bay Area Youth Climate Summit (spearheaded by Ms. Amelia Fortgang), bringing together hundreds of high school students from the SF Bay Area and across the US to address climate justice and activism. They inspire youth to take action, giving them education, resources, and opportunities to tackle climate change. On September 12, they kicked off a day-long virtual conference, uniting 280 youth from 88 schools and 14 states. Each of the participants created a school-based Climate Action Plan, they run monthly workshops (local air pollution inequality, Indigenous climate activism, and careers in environmental science), and they partner with climate organizations across the globe. 

They have directly reached 600 high schoolers through their conference and workshops, and indirectly at least an additional 1,100. During their summit, attendees built Climate Action Plans, and have now engaged hundreds of others in their communities. They also have a social media following of over 1865, with their reach at one point exceeding 10,000 viewers.  

Given COVID, this project relied on rethinking how they approach climate activism. They could not organize or attend strikes or marches with large groups of people, so they needed to find virtual actions that were just as impactful. These challenges ultimately created opportunities: online events are more accessible and cheaper for students. They have also run safe in-person events, like clothing drives, supporting local community members in need while combating the fast-fashion industry. Climate change obstacles are massive, but so too are the ideas and adaptability of their organizing efforts to solve them. 

Photo provided by Amelia Fortgang/Bay Area Youth Climate Summit 


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