The CLEO Institute is proud to participate in Give Miami Day on November 18, 2021. Hosted by The Miami Foundation, this 24-hour online-giving event raises awareness about the critical role that Miami’s non-profits play in our community.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH, 2021
Why Support CLEO?
The latest IPCC report shows that we are in a CODE RED regarding our global warming pollution. While 7 out of 10 Americans believe that global warming is happening, only 4 out of 10 think it will harm them personally (Yale Climate Communication 2020).
The reality is that the climate crisis will impact all of us, from our health to our economy to national security. The continued rise of heat-trapping emissions results in more intense and devastating extreme weather events, and our most vulnerable will bear the brunt of these impacts.
THE SOLUTION: Urgent, bold, just climate policies
HOW DO WE GET THERE? Elected leaders will do more if we have an informed and engaged public demanding it. HOW
HOW DOES CLEO DO IT? Accelerate climate education and advocacy in Florida. United, we stand to protect our state, our younger generations, and our biodiversity.
Most participants felt more confident talking about climate after training. On a 1-5 scale, 72% of participants increased confidence by at least 1 point, 45% by 2 or more.
We’re changing minds. Approximately 60% of graduates believe their perceptions of the climate crisis have changed because of their interaction with CLEO
People are taking action. Approximately 73% believe their behaviors/actions have changed because of the program. Since certification, graduates have had over 1,500 climate conversations.
In addition to that, participants have adopted, on average 5 individual lifestyle changes, including:
- Reduced meat consumption
- Reduced food waste
- Donated time to organizations working on climate issues in their community
- Organized a climate event/webinar with their church, club, organization or group
Over 1,000 acts of civic engagement, including:
- Submitted public comment at a city or county commission meeting
- Spoke at a city or county commission meeting; the least common
- Called an elected representative (local, state, Congress)
- Emailed an elected representative (local, state, Congress)
- Wrote a letter to an elected representative (local, state, Congress)
The historic divestment of women, especially women of color, exposes women to higher risks and more significant burdens from the impacts of climate change. In addition, women build community cohesion by often playing the role of first responders and caretakers at home. In this way, when the climate crisis impacts women, whether, through extreme heat, intensified hurricanes, or asthma exacerbated by air pollution… our communities feel the ripple effects. This story was no different when Miami faced Hurricane Irma in 2017. CLEO’s Empowering Resilient Women (ERW) was created in its aftermath as a response to the visible gaps that left marginalized communities under-represented and under-supported in emergency preparedness.
ERW is based on 4 pillars explored in each online workshop: We LEARN, We CONNECT, We PREPARE, and We LEAD. Supplementing group discussions online, the cohort meets 2-3 times in person at a local garden to build capacity in their urban gardening skills.
- Connect the dots on the climate crisis as a threat multiplier impacting our overall health, including an increased understanding of the basics of climate science, especially as it relates to extreme heat, intensified hurricanes, and food security.
- Walk away with a greater understanding of climate mitigation and adaptation pathways, including how this translates to their improved resilience.
- Receive the hands-on training, resources, and support to start their urban garden, contributing to more urban green spaces that help break up extreme heat. They are also given resources to embrace a plant-rich diet and gain a greater understanding of the health benefits associated with it.
- Coached on best practices for budgeting, saving, and improving their credit, which helps prepare for extreme weather events.
With the added vulnerability of navigating the pandemic during hurricane season, we also focus on increasing extreme weather and financial preparedness. Participants are also given hurricane resilience kits.
More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change and 86% of teachers agree that climate change should be taught in schools (Source: NPR), yet most teachers do not incorporate climate into their curriculum. Understanding the need for a more robust climate curriculum, CLEO partnered with Miami-Dade County’s Public Schools to incorporate our Climate Resilient Schools program. A 4 pronged program which includes:
- Teacher Workshops: Free worships open to K-12 teachers nationally to help them incorporate climate into their curriculum, regardless of their subject.
- Free Climate presentations in high schools
- Climate Leadership Information Program (CLIP): a free afterschool program that trains students to become climate speakers so they can continue educating others through peer-to-peer lectures and school campaigns.
- Climate Action Lab (CAL): a free 10-day summer program that educates Florida high school students on climate science and empowers them to take action by exposing them to experts and professionals in the field of climate science, equity, and civic leadership. Through project-based learning, students learn skills such as storytelling, advocacy, and effective communication.
CLEO has educated over 1,100 students across Miami-Dade County, certified over 80 high school students to become climate speakers, which in turn have educated over 950 of their peers!
What are the students saying?
- 79% agreed that they “better understand how oil, coal, and gas are linked to global warming.”
- 80.6% agreed that they can “better connect the dots on how global warming will affect public health, the global economy, and biodiversity.”
- 74% agreed that they “feel more inspired to talk about the climate crisis with others.”
- 70.6% agree that they “would like discussed more across [their] classes.”
CLEO has always believed in the power of our young people. Our GenCLEO youth meet regularly to discuss climate policies at a local, state, and federal level. They are CLEO trained climate speakers, who regularly participate in school board meetings, commissioner meetings, and have successfully gotten 8 municipalities to declare a climate emergency. MDCP’s decision to transition their school buses from diesel to electric was spearheaded by some of our GenCLEO youth as well! Our movement continues to grow across the state, which chapters in Miami, Tampa, and Tallahassee. CLEO provides support and guidance with the help of our GenCLEO student strategists.
CLEO is always looking for ways to widen the tent and engage with people outside of the climate movement. From the Florida Climate Pledge to our Melting Florida campaign, our goal is to showcase what is at stake for Floridians with out-of-the-box statewide campaigns. Protecting our quality of life, economy, health, and biodiversity are key issues that all Floridians can unite around. In partnership with the VoLo Foundation, Zubi Advertising, Union of Concerned Scientists, and supporters like you, CLEO will continue to develop award-winning campaigns like Melting Flordia, which got over 2.6 million readers and viewers, and was covered all of the U.S., and in over 20 countries! You can learn more about the success here.
The CLEO Institute, founded in 2010, is the only nonprofit, nonpartisan statewide organization in Florida exclusively dedicated to climate education and advocacy. CLEO provides critical education on the science, impacts, and solutions while making it personal, with a climate justice lens to empower people to join the movement. Building community resilience and adaptive capacity require an informed, engaged, and prepared public. Therefore, CLEO works with governmental, business, academic, and community leaders to advocate for long-term and inclusive solutions.
CLEO’s top-down, bottom-up approach is empowering Florida, the most vulnerable state to climate impacts. Annually CLEO engages over 15,000 people through programs, trainings, webinars, etc. Thousands of people we educate and engage have amplified climate education and advocacy in their communities, making our ripple effect immeasurable. Our free community programs continue to receive more participants every year; programs requiring multiple workshops and certifications are also seeing higher retention rates. CLEO relies heavily on annual grants and is grateful for the individual donors that can help support our programs and help us continue our work.