Written and Submitted by Ali Dahmes, West Central YES! Coordinator
Throughout the day during the Fall Summit at St. John’s University, Climate Generation staff Jothsna Harris and Green Corps member Kira Liu presented to students about how to put on a community event using their climate convening model. The three parts to an event like this includes science, stories, and solutions. Jothsna and Kira taught students about the science of climate change (what climate change is and why it is happening). After a short video of a climate story, Jothsna got students thinking about what is important to them in their community. Answer like “family”, “nature”, “trees”, “parks”, “water”, “ice”, and “snow” were shouted out. This was an exercise for students to start thinking about what their climate story could be about, just another piece of putting on a climate convening. Finally, to get students thinking about the problem and solutions in their communities, the session was wrapped up with a “gallery walk”. Questions were posted on the wall around the room where students gathered in groups to answer. Questions included “what is the problem” and “why is it urgent”, “who makes up the community” and “what are their shared values”, and “what are solutions” and “who are potential partners who might support the effort”. Most of their answers are shown in these word clouds. When confronted with climate change, a lot of people believe we are condemned and there is nothing we can do about it. The students throughout this session however showed signs of hope and came up with amazing ideas of how to get their community involved in the efforts to slow, stop, or reverse climate change!