This critical moment in history requires our immediate attention and an end to squabbling. Youth have the persuasive power, the scientific education and the moral imagination to transform the discussion beyond our predominant bottom-line-obsessed paradigm. Youth will inspire us— through civic engagement and the creative arts — to invest in the future — their future.
Our Children's Trust, an Oregon-based organization empowering youth to get involved in climate leadership. Fifteen states are now actively engaged in youth leadership, regarding the reduction of fossil fuel emissions and the growth of clean, renewable energy. See our ACTION! section for more.
We work with iMatter, a national organization dedicated to youth-led Climate Recovery on a city-by-city basis.
Youth Power Director Jim Poyser became Executive Director of Earth Charter Indiana in September of 2013. He was trained by the Climate Reality Project in 2012 and has presented to over 15000 people in various formats, including live presentations, TV and radio interviews and a TEDx talk. His climate change game show, The Ain’t Too Late Show, advances his mission of bringing humor and the arts to the heavy subject of climate change.
Jim was born in South Bend, then lived in Bloomington where he got his degree from IU (Telecommunications and English). His over 30 plays have been performed throughout Indiana, plus Chicago and New York City. He is an award winning journalist and a published fiction writer, essayist and haiku poet, as well as co-founder of the ApocaDocs. He lives on the White River in Indianapolis.
If you want Jim to come to your school to present or to meet with students, contact him by filling out this form. There is no charge for this.
What Jim Poyser brings as a guest speaker is great energy and an optimistic message that really engaged our students. While he was in class, students asked questions and were able to better understand both the impact of climate change as well as how to more effectively influence decision makers. Jim’s use of humor kept the student’s attention and allowed them to hear a serious message without becoming discouraged. After his presentation, students picked topics to discuss in class that were related to climate change such as the Keystone XL pipeline and efforts to increase recycling. One student wrote a letter to the editor complaining that recycling bins were being dumped into larger dumpsters heading for a landfill and got that policy changed.
Bruce McCallister | Lecturer/Student Outreach Coordinator, IU School of Social Work
Jill Ditmire did a radio interview on WFYI for climate change, kids and my game show; aired Monday, Nov. 18. Another story aired March 26.
Alix Litwack, Good Earth, WITT, interviewed Jim for the Another Day of Living show; aired Dec. 7. Another story aired March 29.
Youth Power Indiana couldn't exist without the effort of interns. Past interns include Julia Wilson and Becky Decker, both of whom are students at Butler University; Alexis Litz from Hanover College and Zalika Thompson from Franklin College. If you are interested in interning at Youth Power Indiana, contact Jim through this form.
I met Jim Poyser when I lived in Carmel, Indiana. We worked together, alongside some incredibly talented and passionate people, on a project to pass a resolution for carbon neutrality by 2050. This project was inspired by the incredible youth activists doing similar work via organizations like iMatter and Our Children's Trust (they're very very cool, and you must check them out right this very second!!). Now that I live in Portland, I'm working with iMatter to continue empowering youth to join the movement; because, as we see time and time again, passionate youth can truly change the world.
— Maddie is 17 and lives in Portland, Oregon
Climate change is something that has been getting worse and worse over the decades. I think a lot of people set the problem aside because they think they have more time but that only makes it worse. I, as a member of my generation, can no longer keep sitting back with the knowledge of our world crumbling right in front of us. It really is time to take action and if adults won't do that, who are youth to do nothing? Let's really save the world. Sometimes, we just have to be our own heroes.
— Vanessa is 13 and lives in Indianapolis
Knowing that we are coming close to the day that everything will crumble makes me nervous. My generation will soon have kids of their own and I want to see a better day then, than I do now. That means it is up to me, and the people around me, to stand up and make a change in the world around us, because if we don’t, it will fade away slowly. I always have this in my head, “Being so fortunate, is so unfortunate.” We abuse the privileges and resources we are given rather than preserving and honoring the beauty. We can all stand together and make a change so being fortunate is a great thing, not a travesty.
— Maddie is 16 and lives in Indianapolis
Climate change is not something we can just ignore for another decade. Think of all the animals that had nothing to do with this problem. Animals have done nothing to hurt the environment. We have destroyed their home, food, environment and contaminated their water. We need to protect the human race, the animals on land, the fish in the sea, and the plants in the ground so that we can be around for future generations. It will take hard work, and little and big changes to our daily lives, but we can do it.
— Grace is 15 and lives in South Bend.
Since I was a kid I have always felt a strong connection to animals as well as a deep passion for our planet. Now years later that connection and passion has only been fueled. I am studying Animal Behavior at IU Bloomington on the road to marine biologist. Along my journey I was lucky enough to meet Jim and get involved with Earth Charter Indiana. I have been working alongside Jim for some years now and I couldn't be more thankful. I have had amazing opportunities and continue to grow and learn from these amazing people around me each day.
— Molly is a sophomore at Indiana University in Bloomington.
The earth is a giving planet; it has given all animals the ability to survive and thrive. However, the human race is not returning this generosity but instead are steadily destroying the thing that keeps us alive. What many people do not think through is that if we continue on this destructive path we will be the ones responsible for our own extinction. All generations can still make a difference and there is still hope. This hope is what drives me to spread the word, and I know if everyone does something now, we can be the generation that saved the planet, not the one one that lead to its destruction.
— Adara is 15 and lives in Indianapolis
I have always found comfort within the Earth, whether it be the green of the trees, the purple of the flowers, or the buzzing of the bees. Knowing all of that could be gone in the near future gives me inspiration to combat climate change and protect the Earth that has so graciously gifted humankind with these impeccable gifts. Earth is our home. It's all we have. A planet with the most incredible sights, species, and places. We have to stand up and protect Earth or it will be gone in the blink of an eye. To paraphrase Chief Seattle, "The Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth."
— Cora is 15 and lives in Indianapolis
Jackson is currently in his first enlistment with the US Marines and plans on going to school in August of 2018. An organic farmer and beekeeper, he is quite passionate about environmental and agricultural development. In the near future, he's certain he will be an essential part of climate change movements locally and abroad.
— Jackson is 21 and in the Marine Corps.
I grew up being a vegan and being told about animals and how we should respect them. I have always loved being outside and enjoying nature and look forward to continuing this every day. As I grew up and started going on longer hikes, I realized how much nature had been destroyed. There isn't a place that I have gone without human disturbance. Humans are interlaced into the entire world and the actions that we have performed have consequences that are affecting the things around us. Over the past couple of years, I have realized that we have to stand up for the Earth and start to change how we live.
— Iris is 19 and attending Purdue University in the fall of 2017.
More and more opportunities are stolen from younger generations as time goes on. That is why I'm willing to stand up for those who have yet to be there in the midst of earth’s purest manifestations, and truly see the nirvana that earth has to offer. By learning from our mistakes and correcting the ones we are making today, I strongly believe that we can preserve nature’s beauty completely unaltered by man. I want to promote a better quality of living.
— Samuel is 16 and lives in Indianapolis
To even come close to tackling any other of the world's grandest social issues, we first must ensure that we will even have the day to address those issues through tackling human pollution and consumption. Perhaps even we can fight the social issues of the world through joining hands in protecting the very hearth that kindled life and civilization as we know it.
— Ethan is 20 and is studying in the Netherlands.