Here are some of the final submissions from the Creative Challenge, our application for the youth delegation to COP23, the 2017 UN Climate Negotiations. From policy papers to oil paintings, and from podcasts to local opinion editorials, these pieces all convey why and how young people around the U.S. are working for climate justice. Read, listen, observe… be inspired!

Art, the Environment, and Teaching – Isabella Pardalesreflection writing and curriculum (above)

The Post That Started It AllIvy Chen – blog post

I’m A Vegetarian Because I Hate ContradictionsIvy Chenblog post

Behind Closed Doors: Sit-In Negotiations and Penn’s Blatant HypocrisyZachary Rissmanopinion editorial in university newspaper

Displacement: What is at StakeAmanda Milesvideo

An Open Letter to the People and Governments of the WorldZachary RissmanIndivisible blog

One Fork At A TimeIsabella Pardalesmini-documentary

In Case You Were Wondering: Here is the Behind the Scenes of the CSSC Power Shift ConvergenceAmanda Milesblog post reflection

Sustainable Development Goal: Water and Sanitation in the Pacific IslandsAmanda MilesInfographic

The Millennial MalaiseJamie Tyberg canvas bags (above)

Here’s why so many young people are joining the climate march – Morissa Zuckerman – opinion editorial

What if we told you? – Christopher Roundprotest poster

Earth Day: Hawaiian Chant and Story TellingKeoni DeFrancovideo of traditional Hawaiian oli (chant)

Meet the globetrotting cyclist collecting 1,001 climate change storiesDevi Lockwoodarticle in The Guardian 

An Invitation to Change EverythingAlex Ortizpersonal blog 

Indigeneity & SustainabilityMichael Charlesvideo story (above)

Why I Do What I DoKate Weinerpersonal essay, Loam Magazine

When Green Means White: Rethinking Growth in DetroitBean Cranecreative nonfiction essay

Wisdom of Youth (Conversation on Climate Change)Troy Robertsonvoice memo

A Really Really Free Market on Earth Day: Thoughts on Value, Labor and Material Culture in Late CapitalismAmelia Diehlopinion editorial

Waking Up at the End of the World – Jonathan Kirschblog, The Millennial Times

Birds and Bees – Lucia Whalenmusical composition (above)

How One Activist Is Using A Networking App To Fight Climate Change – Jonathan Kirschblog post

I’m a Millennial: Climate Change – Jonathan Kirsch – video

The People’s Climate Movement and why it’s more about the “people” than the “climate”Zachary Rissmanopinion editorial in university newspaper

Steeped: Tea, Climate Change and the Groundedness of Blue Amelia Diehlpersonal essay

The Quest for Climate JusticeJoshua Nodiffinteractive essay

My Climate StoryKarrie Quirininterview on Climate Stories podcast (above)

‘They asked me to write a poem to save the world’Annabelle Acton-Bondblog post

Food Insecurity: A Social Construct or a Problem?Emma Keelingessay

Waiting for ChangeEmma Keelingpoetry

National Parks: A Double Life – Emma Keelingessay

Native Americans: National Parks to Pipelines – Emma Keelingessay

Compassion in Action: and the Spiritual Ecology of Translating Sky Dragons into Power GridsKyle Lemlearticle in Kosmos Journal

Portrait of Peaceful Resistance – Joyce Zhouwatercolor painting (above)

Your Place or Mine? – Georgia Reidstorymap

Environmentalism in the #Succulent Generation – Mara Mossopinion editorial

Analyzing the Instrumentalization of Affect of American Think Tank WebsitesMichaela Mujica-Steineracademic research

Mixed Race in the Climate Justice MovementEva Malisarticle in Torrey House Press

Spring STEM CampJoyce Zhouvolunteer service project/curriculum

Great Turning | Thrive ChoirKyle Lemle song and accompanying street choir (above)

Youth Impact Panel at Worlds Largest Earth Day EventCade Emory Teradapanel speaker (video)

Standing Rock, Moahdak Do’ag, and the Pervasiveness of Cultural WarfareKayla DeVaultblogpost

Words UngluedSkylar Henryblogpost and artwork

No More Dead Zones: My Journey to the Fight for Climate JusticeAllie Rosenbluthblogpost

Resource Equity Now!Lena Greenbergvideo of public art project

Cultivating Compassion in the Climate MovementKate Weineressay in Loam Magazine

Passing the Test: Koro, Kiribati, Climate ChangeBen Walkeraudio essay

Spring CorrosionJoyce Zhouartwork 

Southern Oregon People’s Climate MarchAllie Rosenbluthart, program, graphic design (above)

Climate justice activism: ‘To call a place home’Aly Tharparticle

People’s Climate Candidates Training Speech – Varshini Prakash – speech (at 17:50)

Sustainable America Series – Jonathan Kirshseries of 6 opinion editorials

Untitled (Another Gulf is Possible)Aly Tharpspoken word poetry 

Student Environmental Resource Center Eva Maliszine

Oregon Youth Are Taking on the Climate CrisisAllie Rosenbluthblog post

COP23 Creative Challenge vs. Trump’s Paris Agreement DecisionAllie Rosenbluth and Jon Kirsch, plus over 600 other youth (and counting!)blog post and letter to Trump (above)

Climate Insurgency: The Final StageFrancisco Ferreyrasong

Environmental Activism Drives YHS SeniorIsabella Pardalesarticle in local paper

Where Roots Run DeepMaia Winklerarticle coming to FLURT Magazine

6 Poems for Climate Justice y la ResistenciaFrancisco Ferreyrapoetry

Power To The People Joshua Nodiffspeech recording

Graves of Changing SkiesMorissa Zuckermanpoem

Where We AreAnya Gleizeropinion article

Where is the Heart in the Climate Justice Movement? Where is the music?Kyle Lemleeditorial

Climate Catastrophe and the Legacy of UC StudentsFrancisco Ferreyraopinion editorial

My Mother is Brown / People’s Climate March 2017Eva Malisartwork (above)

In the Climate Movement, Making a New AmericaCharlie Jiangessay

BEYOND AMERICA & THE PARIS AGREEMENT: Eco-Cultural Regeneration as Climate JusticeKyle Lemle blog post

Dancing with this Delicate Earth Michaela Mujica-Steinerpoetry and self portraits

Fermi’s Paradox Amidst a Planetary EndgameMara Mossblog post and photography

Updated and Upgraded: Improving Energy Efficiency in Athens-Clarke CountyShreya Ganeshanpolicy proposal

Mother Earth: Model, Measure, MentorMichael Charlesblog post

Why Me, Why This Joyce Zhoupersonal essay

Storytelling is Our Ancestral MedicineNiria Aliciaessay

A Line by Line Analysis of this List of Garbage Reasons Provided by the White House for Leaving the Paris Climate AgreementChristopher Roundopinion editorial

Why I Fight for Climate JusticeJack Meyervideo

Climate Change Sucks Sofia Ramcke and Jack Meyersong

THE FUTURE IS OURSWill Lawrence – poem

The Five Stages of Climate Grief – Susan Davidsonartwork (above)

Divest UPenn Sit-InZachary RissmanNowThis video interview

A Very Long ConversationRainey Aberlevideo poetry

Ripe for TransformationKate Weiner – personal essay, Loam Magazine

Patient Name: Mother Earth – Karrie Quirinpoem in Climate Justice Poetry Open Mic Night

In defense of life itself: What I learned from indigenous women in Guatemala – Rebecca HayduWhyHunger blog and photo essay

Sweet Home, Louisiana – Madelyn Smithspoken word poetry

The Cracks are Where the Light Shines ThroughMichaela Mujica-Steinershort story

LatinX and the Climate Justice Movement: Something New to the Table – Andrea Schmidpodcast (above)

Over and Around – Susan Davidsonpersonal reflection, blog post

Arctic Youth Have SolutionsCade Emory Teradaquoted tweet from U.S. Embassy in Finland

Why I Fight Annemarie Manleypoetry and photography

Louisiana Gone – Madelyn Smithphotography book (photo featured above)

Letter to the Children I Will Not Have – Astrian Horsburghpoetry and video

Healthy Ecosystem Healthy ME/Why I Fight Sofia Ramckepersonal essay

Where does it come from and where does it go?Lena Greenbergvideo (above)

San Francisco March for ScienceIvy Chenblog post

Reflection on the People’s Climate MarchAnnemarie Manleyblog post

Ranchers and Tribes Unite Once Again to Fight Keystone XLDevi Lockwoodarticle in YES! Magazine

Resisting Capitalism: the Coloring Book Bean Crane zine and coloring book

Write Your RepsGiuliana Viglioneseries of outreach postcards (above)

How Can Design Be Used To Create A More Sustainable Future?Isabella Pardalesartwork

What Could a March do for the Climate Movement?Annemarie Manleyblog post

Building ResilienceDanielle Neighbourwhite paper

Alaska Youth for Environmental ActionCade Emory Twradafundraising video (above)

We are the ones we’ve been waiting forEspoir DelMainblog post on Climate Generation

Fleur de lis Litter Letter – Karrie Quirincollaborative artwork

Climate Marches Are Useful, But Real Work Has to Follow – Isabella Pardalesletter to the editor

Sustainability minor? Career path? What I’m most excited about? – Ivy Chenblog post

ErasureJoyce Zhouoil painting

Innovation versus Desecration: A Look at the Up-versus-Downstream – Amanda Milesresearch essay

Latrobe Valley: Jobs, Hope and a Just TransitionBean Cranepodcast (below)

Women in Resistance – Rebecca Hayduphoto essay

The Essential Role of Art in the Building of a Movement – Lucia Whalenblog post

“Clean This Place, Don’t Displace”: Activists Battle for Environmental Justice in Washington, DCDevi Lockwoodarticle in Truthout

Still LifeJoyce Zhoupoetry

Option vs. Option – Susan Davidsonartwork

Dionysus : Tristeria, Old | New Myths and Man’s Battle against NatureAnya Gleizerpainting, sculpture, performance (above)

Protect Moadag Thoag: Arizona DOT and Federal Highways Threaten Sacred Mountain with Loop 202 ProposalKayla DeVaultcall-to-action article

After This Long Night, A New Day Will Come – Michaela Mujica-Steinerpersuasive essay

Why we march for climate, jobs and justice // Por qué marchamos por el clima, trabajos y justiciaAllie Rosenbluthopinion editorial

Why the Fossil Fuel Divestment Still MattersChristopher Roundblog post

Earth Day Community CleanupJoyce Zhoucommunity volunteer event

What’s this all aboutBean CraneThe Re-Everything Project

We Must Disobey, CivillyZachary Rissmanblog post

The Solar (dis)Incentive Sofia Ramckeblog post

#EnvironmentalismSoWhiteEva Malisphoto story project (above)

Climate justice demands active solidarityBen Goloffblog post

What does civil disobedience mean to me? An Essay for the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Student ConductGavriela Reiterpersonal story and photo essay

Philadelphia Energy Hub TransitionGavriela Reiterstory map

Coconuts and Climate Refugees Ben Walkeraudio lecture

The Global Citizen Toolbox I CarryEspoir DelMainphoto essay

daplGiselle Hartpoetry

Mad WorldMichaela Mujica-Steinerdance (above)

Carbon Nullius: The Alberta AgendaMaia Winkleropinion editorial

No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police at the March for ScienceAly Tharpblog post

An Ode to Forces of NatureEspoir DelMainblog post

Why Pulling Out of the Paris Accord is Misguided and UneconomicalHarrison Beckarticle in DailyKos

Climate Change: a feminist issueDevi Lockwood essay in Women’s Media Center

Just Eat It: Film ScreeningMaia Winkler public film screening

Environmentalism While Brown: SCOPES, “EJ”, and Life as a Student of Color in the Environmental MovementAndrea Schmidopinion editorial

Coastal LifebloodMaia Winklerwriting and video

Close to Home Christopher Roundarticle in Earth Island Journal 

Why I joined Sunrise: Our jobs, our air, our home Victoria Fernandezpainting and essay (above)

Spotlight: Francisco Ferreyra on EJ, Organizing, and Collective LiberationFrancisco Ferreyrainterview

Prescribed Burning Joyce Zhoupoem

The Heart of the Homeland Skylar Henrytravel blog

Finding Breath in ResistanceMaia Wiklerpersonal essay

Daily Blog ChallengeAmy Meyersblog posts

We are the GuardiansTaylor Schadblog post

By Exiting Paris, Trump Opened a Door for UsCharlie Jiangblog post

My Climate Movement Story: Fracking, and Environmental LegislationAmy Meyersblog post

Keep Families Together Niria Alicia banner (above)

From Abu Dhabi to the District of Columbia: Why I Engage in the Movements for Climate JusticeJulia Giffertyvideo story

Para El Pueblo: Racismo Ambiental en Oxnard, CAFrancisco Ferreyraessay

Climate MOVEMENTAnnabelle Acton-Bondblog post

Mother Nature and our Home EarthValentin Camanopoetry

I’m not an environmentalist, I’m humanIvy Chenblog post

Environmentalists might be sabotaging the planet Jack Meyerblog post

Why a Creative Challenge?

We believe that people understand and shape our world through stories, and that as young people we have significant power in our ability to build a different story for the world we live in – one that is free from systemic injustice and supports thriving ecosystems. That’s why our application process for our youth delegation to COP23, the 2017 UN Climate Negotiations, was a creative storytelling challenge to write op-eds and generate creative media. Last year’s COP22 Delegation was selected in this format, and we found it very successful in both forming the team we want and building the youth climate movement across the country. For two months the Challenge window was open. From all corners of the country, this is what we received.

Thank you to all who participated!