In honor of Earth Day 2022, Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Brooklyn Center) announced that this year’s state budget includes funding for an innovative partnership to connect New York’s youth to career paths in climate and environmental science. The program will be jointly led by SUNY’s College of Environmental and Forest Sciences and CUNY’s Medgar Evers College and will bring students to Adirondack Park for an innovative summer experience.
“Communities like the ones I represent have been victims of environmental injustices for far too long, and as we have seen with recent major storms, our global warming is disproportionately impacting low-income people of color,” said Senator Myrie. “This funding will expose the next generation of climate leaders to career paths in sustainability and environmental science, as well as the history of racial justice and civil rights in the Adirondacks. I am grateful to my partner, Assembly Member Michaelle Solages, who helped lead the fight for this important agenda.
New York’s Adirondack Park was the birthplace of the first civil rights movement, which dates back to the mid-1800s. Specifically, Timbuktu, outside of Lake Placid, was the site of an early settlement for black suffrage , one of eight known settlements in the Adirondacks that allowed 3,000 black men to meet property requirements for voting rights in New York City. This history of opportunity in Timbuktu will be honored and celebrated by creating a modern Timbuktu pipeline at the intersection of climate science and green careers, preparing young people for the threats and opportunities of the 21st century.
The Timbuctoo Pipeline Summer Climate and Careers Institute creates an innovative partnership dedicated to providing an introduction to environmental and climate science, an exploration of intersectional careers, and addressing systemic issues of access from an equity and justice. This summer institute will connect youth from the Hudson River Port to its
above the Adirondack Mountains.
“I am thrilled that CUNY-Medgar Evers College (MEC), a college with social justice in its DNA, is one of the lead institutions in this important environmental science and social justice initiative,” said MEC President Patricia Ramsey. “MEC offers a Bachelor of Environmental Science program with faculty expertise in numerical modeling of planetary atmospheres, indoor/outdoor health, and renewable and sustainable energy. The faculty currently involves undergraduate students in their research and incorporates collaborations with K-12 teachers and students in New York City, as described on our website. This funding will help MEC expand hands-on experiences outside of New York to the community of Timbuktu in the Adirondacks, where nature will be our laboratory and our classroom.
“From the nucleus of an idea in Lake Placid last fall to a fully funded program following the passage of the New York State budget, the entire ESF is ready to implement this initiative quickly and deliberately. truly historic and unparalleled education and professional training for young people. . We are grateful to Senator Myrie, Assemblyman Solages, our many partners in the Senate and Assembly, and Governor Hochul for their unwavering support of this initiative throughout the budget process. This funding will help change the lives of hundreds of future climate warriors and we are truly honored to now have this opportunity to put the talents of our faculty and students to work in the developing a world-class STEM education and green jobs training program in the heart of the Adirondacks Park,” said SUNY ESF President Joanne M. Mahoney.
“There was a lot of good news in the state budget for the Adirondacks Park, but the Timbuktu project is unique because it looks at both history and the future,” Adirondack
said Council Executive Director William C. Janeway. “By examining the historic role Adirondacks have played in black suffrage and using it as a springboard to form the next
generation in climate change mitigation, the Tombuctoo Climate and Careers Institute will make the Adirondacks Park more equitable for all New Yorkers. The Adirondack Council provides our
our deepest thanks to our Champions, Senator Myrie and Assemblyman Solages, and all members of the state’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus for this achievement.
“The Climate and Trades Institute of Timbuktu is the culmination of something that began before the civil war”, Aaron Mair, Forever Adirondacks campaign manager, said. “The original
The settlement of Timbuktu in the mid-1800s offered black people a new opportunity and a way to have a say in their future. This program will provide a similar experience. By educating new generations of New Yorkers about the national treasure that is the Adirondacks Park, they can see the multitude of benefits the park offers everyone – from New York to Buffalo to Plattsburgh – and derive use this training to protect the environment in the future. Thank you to Senator Myrie and Assemblyman Solages for their leadership on this centerpiece of our collective future.
“The Nature Conservancy welcomes the creation of the Summer Institute for Climate and Trades in Timbuktu. We are all on deck to address the climate crisis and ensure equitable access to New York’s natural treasures – Adirondack Park and the Hudson River. It is essential to create meaningful educational and career opportunities for young people. This program will deepen youth connections to local history and increase interest and access to environmental careers. We thank Governor Hochul, legislative leaders and program champions Senator Myrie and Assemblyman Solages for ensuring this program was supported in the recently passed state budget,” said Peg Olsen, director of the Adirondacks of The Nature Conservancy.
“More than 150 years ago, the Adirondacks offered people of color a glimpse of a more equitable and promising future,” concluded Senator Myrie. “Today’s youth can learn about this rich history while preparing to face the current climate crisis. I look forward to participants in this program leading the way to a greener and more sustainable New York, rooted in social justice.