Climate Justice at PPS
Climate Justice in Portland Public Schools
In March 2022, the Portland Public School Board, after years of direct student and community action and leadership on climate justice, unanimously approved the Climate Crisis Response, Climate Justice and Sustainable Practices Policy ("CCRP"). The policy sets far reaching and ambitious targets around energy use, waste reduction, curriculum development, green schoolyards, student health, and climate justice and resiliency.
The PPS CCRP explicitly begins with our commitment to climate justice:
"Climate change disproportionately impacts the vulnerable members of our community. Implementation of this policy will prioritize serving people with disabilities, communities of color, and other vulnerable populations...The District shall prioritize investments that achieve the greatest emissions reduction, while integrating climate action into our curriculum and developing a culture of environmental stewardship and climate justice throughout our organization."
In bringing climate and environmental justice into the forefront of PPS' vision, the CCRP also aligns our climate work with the goals described in the PPS Graduate Portrait, which calls on our students to become "global change agents (who) are responsible stewards of the environment and knowledgeable about climate justice issues."
Student, teacher, and community engagement work is critical to establishing a culture of climate justice. The PPS Climate Justice team is actively working on creative, community centered designs that will build a culture of climate justice and environmental stewardship, as well as teacher and student support systems, throughout PPS. This work gets done by collaborating and empowering the PPS community to be agents of change with a voice and pathways to action. We aim to have robust centers of dialogue so that everyone at PPS can actively be engaged in this work, together.
PPS Climate Justice Mission
A core part of the climate work we do at PPS is centered around racial equity and social justice. Understanding climate justice -- the idea that climate change has differing social, economic, public health, and other adverse impacts on underprivileged populations -- helps guide our actions in a way that distributes environmental benefits equitably, focusing first on the populations that have been harmed most by climate change.
PPS Climate Justice mission:
Support the teaching and learning of climate change and climate justice in all classrooms in Portland Public Schools. Collaborate to develop transdisciplinary curriculum and professional learning that empowers educators and youth to become transformative racial equity leaders and global stewards and ambassadors. Collaborate with district and community partners to empower youth to lead the district and the world in becoming more sustainable.
Whether you've been a climate activist your whole life, or you're new to the journey, there are many ways to get involved as a climate justice leader in our schools. Talk to your classmates, your teachers, and us! If you want help figuring out how to gather and put to use your resources, we would love to help you figure that out. Email us at email@example.com.
2023-2024 Climate Justice Youth Advisory now open!
Want to share your voice for climate justice? Join the Climate Justice Youth Advisory!CJYA Members are thought partners in defining the Climate Justice department’s goals for climate action, student leadership, and community engagement. The group meets monthly and is a great opportunity for connecting with like-minded peers from throughout the district.
To apply, please fill out the 2023 CJYA Interest Form. Applications are due by October 27, 2023.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Degrees and Certifications:
Climate Justice Inside PPS Schools
The CCRP calls for PPS to, "with guidance from frontline students and communities...develop curricular learning opportunities, so PPS graduates know the causes and consequences of climate change, understand climate justice, and have opportunities to practice climate solutions."
Numerous pathways for students to learn about climate justice have already been created and more are on the way, including:
- Multiple PPS high schools have a climate justice elective course.
- Many schools have a climate justice or environmental justice club.
- PPS supports student activism through excused absences for community climate actions.
Kat Davis is the Advisor for Climate Justice at Portland Public Schools where she oversees the district-wide implementation of the Climate Crisis Response, Climate Justice and Sustainable Practices Policy. Before coming to PPS, Kat was the Director of Sustainability at Boise State University for five years, and has experience in the public sector with a background in designing systems of solutions in nonprofits and local governance. Kat centers student voice in her work and is eager to engage with the Portland community in moving PPS forward in our commitment to climate justice together.Hannah SkuttAmeriCorps Climate Justice Project CoordinatorRosie GoityAmeriCorps Climate Justice Project CoordinatorJesse Nienow-MackeAmeriCorps Climate Justice Project Coordinator
The core function of the PPS Climate Justice Advisor's office is to...
- Within the Office of Teaching and Learning, support the development of K-12 science and social studies curriculum that engages students in learning about climate change and climate justice
- Collaborate with the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement to support the development of youth leadership and engagement opportunities
- Collaborate with the Office of Sustainability to support the development of curriculum that empowers youth to analyze data and create solutions to sustainability and climate justice issues in their community
Degrees and Certifications:
Climate Justice Resources for Teachers
Portland Public Schools, in collaboration with CLEAR Environmental, created this growing and dynamic resource space for educators, administrators, and community to share and learn about climate justice teaching in our schools. These pages contain teaching resources, community resources for students and families, and much more.