The C2C Fellows program is modeled on a series of weekend training sessions organized by Dr. Eban Goodstein, Director of the Bard CEP. From 2000-2006, Goodstein led 16 of these training workshops across the country for citizen activists and educators. The hundreds of graduates from the workshops formed a national speakers’ network on climate and clean energy, talking directly with tens of thousands of people in their communities.
Timeline and Vision
In 2007, Vice President Gore’s Climate Reality Project took over the work of training grassroots climate speakers and organizers. From 2008-2010, Eban and Chungin Goodstein went on to organize a series of national, one-day educational events on global warming solutions. The 2008 “Focus the Nation” teach-in was one of the biggest in US history, involving over 1900 colleges, universities, high schools and faith communities, and close to a million students.
In 2010 and 2011, the Bard Center for Environmental Policy sponsored dialogues between campus and congress on energy, climate and jobs as part of our C2C/EARTHweeks initiative. C2C/EARTHweeks helped us get hundreds of students, faculty and staff in states and congressional districts across the country engaged and tuned into the critical decisions concerning our future being made in Washington.
The academic year of 2011-2012 saw the launch of C2C’s leadership trainings, in New York, Georgia and Ohio. These interactive workshops covered communication, entrepreneurship, environmental and climate science, media, raising capital, and other critical topics. They were working meetings: the output for each student was to develop and deliver a structured, engaging, persuasive talk.
During the most recent academic year (2012-2013), we hosted six more trainings, in Tennessee, New York, Missouri, Colorado, Michigan and Oregon. Thus far, we've engaged over 250 students nationwide in our intensive weekend workshops.
Goodstein’s approach is inspired by the work of the Highlander Center in Tennessee, originally located close to his hometown, and where his parents helped fight for civil rights. For eighty years, Highlander has been a training center for citizen educators and activists. During the 1950s, virtually every major civil rights activist, from Rosa Parks to Dr. King, attended Highlander workshops. They left with knowledge, skills, and above all, a reinforced sense of courage that changed the world.
The mission of C2C Fellows is to serve as the Highlander of a youth movement for clean energy: building a network of young people with leadership vision, and helping them accelerate their life’s work. Within the lifetime of a child now entering school, “business-as-usual” trajectories for global warming will likely force up average temperatures beyond 10 degrees F, impoverishing hundreds of millions, and driving more than half of the life on this planet onto an extinction path. Stabilizing the climate is a human necessity, a precondition for meeting the needs of nine billion people, all aspiring to better lives, within the boundaries of our one earth.
education. leadership. change.
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