ARISE (Alliance to Re-Industrialize for a Sustainable Economy)
ARISE is a coalition of students, labor organizers, various nonprofits, and city planners
who have been generating a green re-industrialization plan for the Twin Cities Ford Plant (set to
close in 2009). Our scenario envisions the plant as a green manufacturing facility which will use
renewable energy to produce essential clean-energy goods, such as wind turbines and solar
panels, and which supports and sustains a working-class urban community.
Youth involved with ARISE as a summer project will gain valuable experience by
working with coalition members to create over 2,000 green jobs and learning to translate
ARISE's framework for sustainable re-industrialization to projects in their own communities.
With the help of summer participants ARISE will link with other existing green economy
programs and spread the framework for green re-development across the country.
Cooperative Energy Futures
Cooperative Energy Futures is a community energy efficiency co-op which utilizes the
remarkable cost-savings that energy efficiency provides to finance home efficiency upgrades and
empower residents to collaboratively cut wasteful energy use and save money. With over 80
million inefficient homes in the US, community energy efficiency is hugely significant and offers
opportunities for employees, coordinators, residents and investors to collaboratively profit.
This summer, participants will work with community members, energy auditors,
contractors, utilities, and investors to implement this model throughout the Twin Cities and learn
how to replicate it nationwide. We will gain practical experience in sustainability finance, social
entrepreneurship, community-based social marketing, and the ability to make sweeping changes
to our infrastructure that create green job opportunities and help everyday people get by.
Community-Based Wind Energy Development
The Midwest is rich in wind energy opportunities, yet the rising demand for wind
turbines and an inefficient energy infrastructure inhibit the development of a wind-powered
region. The Community-Based Wind Energy Development project works with a variety of
institutions to invest in wind energy and fund the construction of wind farms across the Midwest.
Summer participants will learn finance structures, policy tools, and the state of the wind
industry, giving us valuable skills to engage in local renewable energy development projects and
an understanding of how to establish profitable and self-sustaining community energy initiatives.
We will also explore the nuances of a renewable energy transition - including community-based
energy development, a distributed electrical grid, and local production of turbines.
Environmental Justice Network
Building on the many intersecting but independent initiatives around economic, racial,
environmental and climate justice work, a youth Environmental Justice Network will establish
collaboration between community groups to create a sustainable and just society.
Participants will work to ensure that “sustainable” urban development does not destroy
low-income communities, connect fair housing and job creation initiatives to the Climate
Movement, and expand a youth hip-hop alliance around social and environmental activism.
Participants will gain experience working with diverse communities, build alliances across issues
and help strengthen the environmental justice movement.
A community education model, EXCO is free and anyone can teach or take a class. The
Minnesota Climate Positive Team has facilitated courses on home auditing and eco-spirituality,
among many others. This evolving school is a space for us to share skills and ideas and explore
environmental education with the broader community. In addition to participating in the EXCO
course “Climate, development and energy: Renewing our future,” Summer of Solutions youth
may teach a class or workshop of their own.
WeCAN (The World Energy Community Action Network)
A student-designed web-based networking tool, WeCAN has the potential to be the online
organizing space for the climate movement. It is based on the climate positive philosophy that
shared resources empower everyone. Participants will delve into the theories of social
networking and work to understand the networking needs of the climate movement, while
simultaneously creating the online network that will provide those tools.
Fired Up Media
Launched by young people around the nation, Fired Up Media is an emerging national
news source which empowers the climate movement to tell its own story and mobilize the public
behind the climate movement. Summer participants will work to make Fired Up Media more
accessible to the general public through college and local media sources, and will gain concrete
experience working with media outlets and gain the tools to create, access, and generate buzz
around succesful and important stories. A new media source will have a key role in telling the
story of our future.
No New Coal!
All across the nation, youth have risen up and demonstrated that new coal-fired power
plants are unwise and unjust investments. Participants will partner with organizations such as
the and local communities and other organizations to prevent the construction of wasteful and
dirty coal plants, such as Bigstone II and Mesaba. They will create innovative campaigns, gain
networking skills and learn how to expand and build upon regional initiatives.
Local food gardens contribute to a vibrant local food economy and demonstrate that
community-sustainability is possible in all areas of life, rural and urban. Participants will partner
with GardenWorks (an umbrella organization for community gardens in the Twin Cities) to
create a mentoring program which brings together summer participants and local high schoolers
to work side by side in community gardens.
Arts and Farts
We all love making art, and we don't do it enough!
This summer, brin whatever artistic talent to the
group; share it, teach it, do it, and love it.
As the title suggests, “art” can take the form of
whatever you make it, so bring whatever you got!