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2022 Recipient

Amelia Fortgang

San Francisco, CA | 18

2022 Award Recipient

Amelia was raised with the spirit of tikkun olam to care for her community and plant seeds that will grow for the next generation. Tikkun olam is a driving force for her work to address the climate crisis – repairing the world by repairing relationships, undoing systems of oppression, and building community. Motivated by the urgency of the climate crisis and inspired by both her grandmothers, Amelia founded the Bay Area Youth Climate Summit. The activist network is driven by the belief that climate change is a people problem, not just a planet problem. Summit leaders have lobbied elected officials to protect oceans, pass city legislation that includes climate change, and advocate for more affordable, environmentally friendly housing. So far, the Bay Area Youth Climate Summit has engaged more than 3,000 youth through 55 workshops and three annual summits to learn about the impact they can have in addressing the climate crisis. Dedicated to social justice, the Summit has also partnered with other local organizations, donating 500 items of clothing and $15,000 worth of sustainable hygiene kits to mutual aid projects in San Francisco, Oakland, and Marin, as well as facilitating seven drives to donate 1,250 books to the Children’s Book Project. Their most significant impact has come through the launch of detailed action plans to drive environmental change. These plans have resulted in new air quality sensors in San Bruno public schools, advancing campaigns to install school solar panels, Terracycle bins in San Francisco, and a community garden in the south part of the city.

Bay Area Youth Climate Summit (BAYCS)

Standing on the steps of San Francisco City Hall leading the Youth Climate Strike, Amelia felt the power of her grandmothers who worked in local politics and inspired her to organize and lobby for change. With that strong family foundation, and fueled by her passion for environmental justice, Amelia founded the Bay Area Youth Climate Summit, an activism network that offers in-depth educational climate justice workshops, lobbies local and federal elected officials, and mobilizes Bay Area high schoolers to implement climate action plans in their communities.