Earth Guardians are Finishing the Year Strong with Support from CREDO Members

For nearly 30 years, Earth Guardians (EG) has been one of the leading grassroots, intergenerational organizations empowering young people in the environmental and climate justice spaces. We train diverse youth to be effective leaders in the environmental, climate, and social justice movements across the globe, using art, music, storytelling, on-the-ground projects, civic engagement, and legal action to advance solutions to the critical issues we face as a global community.

As an organization, we empower youth and invite them into key decision-making and visioning roles. Our staff team includes adult professionals as well as youth from around the globe. The Earth Guardians vision is shaped collaboratively by Staff, our Youth Council, a worldwide network of Regional Directors (RD), and an Indigenous Youth Committee, all of whom work together to design and support national and global youth campaigns and projects. Many of our EG youth leaders have been invited to speak about our work at high-profile engagements worldwide, which has drawn thousands more young people to Earth Guardians as supporters and crew members. As a result, today we are a global organization with over 300 on-the-ground crews (groups of young people at the heart of the organization who join together to design and implement community projects) located in more than 70 countries.

As ecosystems are affected by crises across the planet, climate, environmental, social, and political activism has flourished, particularly among young people, and Earth Guardians has risen to the challenge of connecting, supporting, and empowering youth to be impactful in these spaces. We have expanded our staff and Youth Council, joined powerful coalitions of other climate- and justice-focused organizations, and launched many new high-impact programs, campaigns, and trainings to help young people worldwide who are looking for connection, answers, and ways to kickstart their own activism and contribute to solutions.

The 2021 crew training offered to Earth Guardians’ U.S. crews, or frontline groups, of mainly young activists and artists who represent and are supported by EG, and engaged in the issues and needs of their communities. This was a comprehensive training designed to help crew leaders lean into their fullest potential and to collaborate on and create more effective campaigns and projects. Workshops at the training will center on holistic and intersectional leadership skills, project management, coalition-building, and regenerative solutions. With intersectionality and social justice teachings incorporated throughout, this training is focused on grouping individual  participants with similar project ideas or passions, and ensuring that each participant leaves with a well-constructed project, as well as ongoing support, that can be immediately adopted in their own communities.

Earth Guardians launched a program to offer direct financial support to young people and crews in the form of project grants, which directly benefit communities through efforts like tree plantings, traditional plant gardens, and ceremonial community space development as well as youth-led frontline actions, such as opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

We also train youth leaders who are responsible for managing multiple crews and campaigns within their respective global regions. EG aims to build RD’s leadership skills in a way that offers better vision, strategy and organization in the global climate movement for expanded impact. Further, EG hopes to enrich knowledge from the variety of shared experiences our RDs bring as the youth navigate different backgrounds, cultures, ages, and even regional-specific issues among the group. Training topics include project management and leadership, climate justice education, and justice equity diversity & inclusion principles. Climate change is a global issue that needs a global response, in this, EG sees the interconnectedness of our RDs as fundamental to the solution.

Now in its third year and building on the success from previous Indigenous youth trainings, EG’s Indigenous Youth Committee is organizing a week-long training specifically for Indigenous youth leaders from across Turtle Island. At the training, youth will honor and share their traditional ways of life while honing in on developing leadership skills and their inherent wisdom around social and environmental justice issues directly impacting their communities including Indigenous sovereignty, regenerative agriculture, ceremony, traditional medicines, frontline resistance, and decolonization while providing space for healing. The goal is to equip Indigenous youth with education, mentorship, and a network of support to continue building sovereignty among Native Nations, as EG sees this as a key solution to the climate crisis.

This is what we have in store for the final quarter of 2021 – all which will be possible through the support of CREDO Members.