Change is Needed

Authors: Joseph Adamji | Green For All Fellow Candidate

Joseph Adamji, a Green For All Fellow candidate, is empowering his students to rethink their communities as well as their relationship to the environment. We are pleased to announce a group of Joseph's students, "The Climate Change Crew," as the winner of last year's Dream Reborn Story Contest. These remarkable young people are part of a program in the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center, a youth development organization based out of the Science Museum of Minnesota.

No social movement has achieved success without the energy and creativity of young experiencing and critiquing the present, dreaming and writing their futures, and working collectively to change the course of history. From the civil war to the civil rights movement, music and creativity have come out of–and inspired–young people uniting for change. The track and video for Change is Needed is a powerful and collective story that sings the untold realities of our pollution and exploitation based economy, while advocating for one that works with the natural world, providing access and opportunities for all.

The youth featured in Change is Needed are part of a program in the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center, a youth development organization based out of the Science Museum of Minnesota with the mission to "empower youth to change our world through science." The 24 students in the Climate Change Crew and Earth Buzz Crew have been working in the Twin Cities over the last year to understand, experience, and inspire a movement toward a just and sustainable economy. From educating themselves and their peers, to learning from and serving their communities- knocking on doors in cold Minnesota winters to raise awareness of an emerging green economy through events they hold, these kids are an example of the power in the creativity of young people, even in the midst of difficult times.

As an educator I see the value in beginning with what moves us all, music. Music is an educational tool, both in the creative process, tapping into a brilliance many go their entire lives without realizing, as well as in its power to reach people through education and outreach. Within just a few short weeks of starting my position, after making beats on garage band and having youth generate a "word-wall?" to describe environmental justice, the youth were writing lyrics and creating powerfully with each other, resulting in what you see today. During this process I was nominated to be a Green For All Fellow. Through the Academy Program I have become connected to a network of inspiring leaders across the country, working to ensure that our communities take leadership in the formation of a green economy. During the three day program in Oakland, I received comprehensive curriculum that will allow the youth I work with to become expert leaders. From the community events they hold to bring people together, to the young people they educate, and the new tracks we write, our work will reach new levels. I thank the Fellowship Coordinator and Green For All for showing strong support and investing in youth; they understand the value that young people bring to this movement. For the nine-month Fellowship term of service I am focusing on developing "alumni" programming to keep these youth engaged. The leadership that they build in these critical years is only a springboard into this work and it is of greatest importance that we keep them connected to this movement and to their communities after high school. It's a vision to go beyond critiquing and experiencing issues and concepts, to truly becoming experts in the field, shaping and creating jobs, influencing policies, and leading community development efforts as creative servant leaders. Without this vital piece, their experience in this movement risks becoming just another "elective" in their high school career. If fully invested in, young people can make the dreams we all sing our reality. Though society marks high school years as a forgotten age, between childhood and adult, I feel this is where the balance of freedom in thought without restrictions of identity, if tapped, can envision and create profound change. Let this music grab your soul and make you move.

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