Earth Island Institute, the non-profit organization providing support for environmental activism for over 30 years, recognizes the importance of encouraging youth leadership in the environmental movement. Each year, it awards six environmental activists, aged 13 to 22, for their outstanding efforts to promote ecological sustainability and social justice.
Two of this year's winners, Jonathan Ferrer of UPROSE in New York and Arielle Klagsbrun of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment in St. Louis, are rising leaders in the grassroots environmental movement. Their two organizations also sent members to the Overbrook-convened "Building Equity and Alignment" Initiative in mid-July; part of the ongoing effort to strengthen the environmental movement. And Chloe Maxmin was the key driver in getting Harvard University to begin the process of moving away from investments in coal and other dirty energy - the main thrust of 350.org's new campaign.
All of this year's winners proved again the power grassroots organizations and youth leadership have, as well as the need to recognize this strength in the ongoing struggles against extreme energy and environmental and climate injustice.