About the Summit

Our Mission: The Youth Power Summit 2013 is a youth-led project to create a space where young people, students, community members, faculty, and community business leaders will converge to explore the intersectionality of economic, social, and climate justice issues and develop the tools, organizing strategies, and collective frameworks to actively pursue a vision for a just, sustainable, and prosperous community.

We believe that realizing this vision demands genuine systematic transformation that puts freedom from discrimination and equal access to decision-making at the center of equitable and resilient social, economic, and cultural institutions. At the Youth Power Summit, we’re investigating the strategies we need to build this vision in practice through open dialogue, cultivating new connections in our community, and empowering young people to reframe the conversation around climate change so that climate justice is one strategy among many that seek broader and deeper justice in the creation of a sustainable and peaceful world.

Who We Are: The Youth Power Summit 2013 is being organized by a horizontally structured team of young people from local high schools, universities and communities. Schools and communities represented include, Ithaca High School, Dryden High School, Lehman Alternative Community School, New Roots Charter School, Trumansburg High School, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, SUNY Cortland, Cornell University, and the Tompkins and Cortland County communities.

To join the planning team email: youthpowersummit@gmail.com

The Youth Power Summit is proud to have guidance and support from the New Economics Institute Campus Network team, the Climate Smart & Climate Ready Conference planning team, The Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, and the Ithaca College Sustainability Office. We are also grateful for direct organizing support for the project from the Green Umbrella NY Youth for a Just and Sustainable Future. See our Partners Page for more information.

The Youth Power Summit is also happy to represent the Youth Track of the Climate Smart & Climate Ready Conference. The CSCR conference, April 18-21st in Cortland and Tompkins County, “will focus on how our local governments, institutions, residents and businesses can both lower fossil carbon emissions and prepare for multiple impacts of a turbulent climate regime.” Click here for the CSCR schedule, and check the YPS 2013 Keynotes Page for overlapping content!

Our Origins: In March 2011, one month before Power Shift 2011 in Washington DC, over 150 young people from Central New York gathered for the Youth Power Summit 2011 (where the picture behind this text comes from!), the largest youth led climate justice conference in the region’s history. The conference focused on understanding the millennial generations unique relationship to the climate crisis, training young people to lead the climate movement, and culminated with a march and petition delivery demanding that the City of Ithaca commit to 80% reductions of GHG emissions by 2050. In April, New York State sent nearly 1,000 young people to Power Shift 2011, the largest state delegation in the country, with the largest regional delegation—200 young people—traveling from Central New York. The Youth Power Summit 2013 continues this tradition and aims to expand our movement by re-center the climate struggle around a commitment to justice and freedom from oppression.

Action: On Sunday, April 21st, following the youth power summit, we’re hosting an action to demand that the City of Ithaca divests from the fossil fuel industry! Check back in for updates as the plan evolves! If you’d like to plug into campaign, email youthpowersummit@gmail.com

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