Here at ACE, we believe all people — and especially youth — have the right to know the truth about climate change, and the power to do something about it. Whether that’s working with friends to start a local garden in their community or rallying for climate change solutions in the nation’s capital, we believe that education and organized action are fundamental to the work we must do to tackle the single greatest threat that society has ever faced.
While we communicate this message through our assembly presentations and our youth leadership development work, we have also wanted to create a platform where everyone who shares our youth-empowered vision can take and create action, and organize their friends, family and community members to do the same. So, as we launch our brand new climate science assembly in high schools this fall, we are also proud to debut a brand new mobilizing site, http://change.acespace.org, that focuses on our new Right to Know campaign work.
Why the Right to Know Frame?
Our Right to Know work is rooted in the right of our citizens to access high quality education. Education feeds our economy, it nourishes our skilled workforce, and it’s our recipe for breakthrough and innovation. Mostly importantly, education is the main ingredient in preparing our young people to cultivate their American Dream.
Today, this most basic right is being threatened. There are forces that stand against those of us seeking truth, undermining our right to education in the face of the greatest threat that society has ever faced, climate change.
Without naming the problem and measuring the consequences, we are disempowered to participate in the solutions. In fact, by not being presented with the facts, we are prevented from utilizing even the most basic of scientific tools–asking questions.
Science textbooks for K-12 classrooms across the country don’t yet uniformly teach our young people about our greatest threat, climate change. Imagine–what if some required school curricula omitted the civil rights movement or evolution? (Yes, this is still happening.) How would our young people possibly be able to score highly on nationally standardized tests? How would they get into college, score a job or develop into valued members of society?
What ACE is Doing
For ACE, the Right to Know also means the right to shift the power. That’s why we have awarded 68 full scholarships to ACE’s top leaders across the country from Los Angeles to Atlanta to attend PowerShift 2013, a convergence of more than 10,000 young people focused on solving the climate crisis and shifting away from fossil fuels to clean energy. Our scholarship recipients will be prepared with concrete skills and tools through workshops, caucuses and trainings, the result of which will be the launch of a flurry of local campaigns sparking climate action across the country.
Join us now as our top leaders help us seed Right to Know campaigns in cities across the country and be part of this amazing journey. Stay connected along the way with updates, live tweets and first-hand accounts from our leaders.
We’re already starting to see this work manifest itself in places like Washington D.C. where we’re launching the Right to Renewable Energy, a local campaign in partnership with Groundswell aimed at sparking youth-led action to demand that local schools and communities switch to clean energy.
We seek to unify 1 million voices around the Right to Know, building a groundswell of support to raise and sustain a real national conversation.
And, we’re not attempting this work in a vacuum. In fact, we’re putting the necessary tools in the hands of our network members. We’re empowering our youth to shine a light (an LED, of course) in the dark places by harnessing their digital savvy. Yes, we’re side-stepping the classroom, the political process and most off all, the media. We’re feeding this movement through peer-to-peer education, old-fashioned style, but with a contemporary twist: a people-powered campaign tool using breakthrough technology.
Our new campaign platform builds collective power by distributing it. Our leaders from all over the country, including those trained at PowerShift 2013, will start and run their own local campaigns this year, expressing their Right to Know and act, using this best-in-class online organizing tool.
Stay tuned for more to come soon in the lead up to PowerShift 2013 and beyond. Join us now in defending the Right to Know for this generation, and all generations to come.