CivicGreen views youth engagement as vital to a thriving democracy and indispensable for sustainable communities and institutions now and in future decades. Some young people are already at the barricades in climate justice movements to lay claim to a viable future and to break political and policy logjams. Their movement action is inspired and required.
CivicGreen does not focus on social movement action per se, as important as this is, but on civic action that strengthens local communities and transforms the institutions in which they will work for much of their lives. These two distinct forms of action can and should reinforce each other as much as possible. They can be complementary, sequential, and synergistic.
We consider various models of civic action, as well as the policies that enable and incentivize them. These include environmental education at all levels, sustainability on campus and university-community partnerships, climate and conservation Corps and national service, youth engagement in urban and community forestry, and local youth climate action councils and sustainability planning.
Environmental Education and Stewardship
Environmental education and stewardship: programs and projects organized through K-12 schools and youth groups such as the YMCA that engage young people in classroom learning, citizen science, environmental monitoring, and active stewardship and restoration. We also profile professional educators and their associations who facilitate the work of young people.
At Tufts University, see Tomorrow’s Earth Stewards.
Higher education: community-based learning on sustainability through college majors and professional programs, as well as through formal partnerships between colleges and community partners.
At Tufts University, see Center for Information on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).
National and Community Service
National and community service: organized through national programs such as AmeriCorps, state service commissions, and local partners, as well as public agencies that have specific missions to protect ecosystems, restore forests and shorelines, and respond to disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and forest fires. The basis of proposals for a Civilian Climate Corps.