In 2019, without an official youth climate action team, a handful of young people from Norway worked in partnership with local climate organization, the Center for an Ecology-based Economy (CEBE), and a youth climate coalition, Maine Youth for Climate Justice (MYCJ), to organize a strike in Norway as part of the Global Climate Strike.
The strike in Norway drew droves of climate activists of all ages who marched, gave speeches, sang, danced and sent a message to the town to let them know the youth were here to organize around climate action.
After this strike, the group of youth brought a climate emergency declaration to the town of Norway; a resolution for the town to declare a climate emergency and form a council of concerned citizens to work on reducing our impact on climate here in Norway.
It was unsuccessful at the time, with lack of extended community support, lack of a structured team, and the town wanted to see examples of other towns in Maine declaring climate emergency.
Fast forward to March 2020. CEBE held an incredible 3-day climate convergence event.
Day 1 of the event, Thursday, climate author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben spoke at OHCHS to 300+ audience members...soon-to-be youth climate team lead in Norway, Jess Cooper, spoke about youth and climate action. ME Strikes co-founder and Anna Siegal also spoke about her experience in starting one of the most amazing youth movements in our state and what inspired her.
Day 2 of the event, Friday, a group of young climate leaders had the opportunity to meet with Bill McKibben for breakfast at Cafe Nomad on Main Street. The workshops for the weekend official kicked off at the local UU church, with hundreds of people coming in and out to see well over 50 workshops for the next 2 days.
After the climate convergence and after joining MYCJ to learn more about how young people in our state are organizing around climate, Jess Cooper began working through CEBE as the Youth Climate Action Coordinator, with the goal to build up a team and get young people in western Maine involved in climate action.
With the support and constant forward motion of MYCJ and MCAN coalitions working on climate action efforts across the state, Norway Youth Climate Action has taken off and is actively seeking more young people to get involved!
WHAT WE DO
We want to create a space where young people can learn at their pace and begin where they are at with the climate movement -- because that's how we began.
No matter what age or background you have - we want you to know that you have a place in this movement, because it's about your future.
We aim to break down barriers for young people in our area when it comes to knowledge, experience, being heard, getting paid, and finding resources.
We work to:
Engage youth all across western Maine in climate related projects
Expand our network of support, connecting youth to other youth and adult allies
Educate and offer resources and support for young people interested in having their voice heard in their community.