Captain Planet Foundation is excited to be partnering with Clayton County Public Schools, with support from philanthropist Susan Klein and Accenture, to inform and empower students to explore and take action for Climate Justice in Clayton County. The CCPS Climate Justice Challenge & Summit: Green Heart Edition is a design challenge for 5th – 12th grade students across Clayton County. As many as 5,000 students are working in teams over the next two months to observe and identify challenges in their community relating to two themes — EARTH, which represents healthy soils & food systems; and FIRE, which represents renewable energy & transportation systems. Ultimately, students will design a solution to that problem that is feasible, equitable, and implementable.
Historically, the civil rights movement has been categorized into issues surrounding social systems and the fight for equality. However, environmental issues that disproportionately impact BIPOC communities have been largely ignored by the civil rights movement. Climate justice is an important pillar in the fight against climate change, and the CCPS Climate Justice: Green Heart Challenge is inviting students across the district to develop solutions to the climate injustices that are acutely felt by, and affecting communities, in and around Clayton County.
“We know our students are passionate about making a difference in the communities in which they live,” said Ms. Janetta Greenwood, CCPS Science Coordinator. “This initiative will give them the space to explore and engage in conversations and activities around topics such as water, energy, land, labor, economy, and democracy. Climate justice is an important pillar in the fight against climate change, and the Green Heart Challenge in our district will empower scholars to develop solutions against climate injustices that disproportionately affect minority-majority communities such as Clayton County,” she concluded.
The Green Heart Challenge kicked-off with two in-person events held in January where more than 300 student ambassadors came together to learn about the Challenge and provide leadership for their peers. Students will submit a written plan, as well as a 60-90 second ‘pitch’ video presenting their ideas. Ten submissions will be selected for the Final Judging Round where student teams will be invited to present their ideas to a panel of celebrity judges during Earth Week. Winning teams will be eligible for paid internships, small grants, and mentorship to begin implementing their plans over the summer.