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November 3, 2015
Earth Guardians and IDEAS For Us
Collaborate to Incubate Youth Climate Leaders
Boulder, CO / Orlando, FL – With just one month until the COP 21 climate talks commence in Paris, Earth Guardians and IDEAS for Us are joining forces to empower emerging youth climate leaders. The two cutting edge youth-led nonprofits have an impressive international record for facilitating local climate solutions. Combined they have more than 500 chapters in 50+ countries.
With their new partnership the two organizations plan to provide training materials and resource guides that can help catalyze local youth-led efforts for climate resilience. With the critical climate talks on the horizon both organizations want to show world leaders that youth are prepared to carry out the hard work of transforming systems to avert the worst of the climate crisis.
Earth Guardians Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez has built a strong reputation as a voice for youth in the climate movement. The 15 year-old Mexican activist and hip hop artist from Boulder, CO has been speaking about the climate crisis since he was six. However his voice broke through in a big way this year. Nearly 16 million people saw his speech at a high level meeting on climate change and a critically acclaimed short film about his activism called Kid Warrior was widely shared. Xiuhtezcatl will participate in the UN Climate Talks, with the COY and Indigenous delegations.
Xiuhtezcatl expressed his excitement for the project, “If we’re going to protect a future for my generation, the change is going to come from us.. That’s what I love about the work Ideas For Us does. Just like Earth Guardians they are a grassroots organization, implementing solutions at a local level. It’s been incredible to see young people around the world stepping up to meet the immense challenge we face with climate change! This partnership is exactly what we need to continue to see this movement grow and thrive,”
Chris Castro, Founder and President of IDEAS For Us, met Xiuhtezcatl and the Earth Guardians team at the UN Rio+20 Youth Blast in 2009 during the 2012 World Youth Congress, and there they formed a friendship that eventually materialized into advocating for one anothers organization, and even combining efforts with chapters overseas. Over the past 7 years, IDEAS has grown from a collegiate student organization into a diverse global community of problem solvers actively working to create breakthrough solutions and build a more sustainable future for all. In just 7 years, they’ve become an internationally renowned 501c3 nonprofit, United Nations accredited NGO (ECOSOC, UNEP, SDSN), and have developed measurable and result-oriented solutions throughout hundreds of chapters in more than 23 countries around the World. Some of their well known initiatives include reforestation efforts and tree planting campaigns, innovative organic agriculture programs, solar PV and clean cooking stove installations, clean water projects, habitat restorations, ecosystem clean-ups, waste management solutions and more.
“I believe that by combining our skills and talents, IDEAS and Earth Guardians will be poised to accelerate even more positive impact around the World. Together, we will focus on how to equip youth climate leaders in both of our organizations with the skills, resources, and tools needed to be effective change-agents on campuses and communities around the World.” said Chris Castro
The first collaboration will be developing a Climate Leaders Handbook, a comprehensive guide for individual leaders to learn the basic organizing principles. Stay tuned for some other exciting developments between IDEAS and Earth Guardians in 2016!