It’s Our Future (IOF) is designed to equip youth to advocate for climate solutions and their futures. It’s Our Future was developed by Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) in collaboration with community partners, and currently engages students from Oak Park/River Forest, Chicago and Evanston. IOF’s goals include:
- • Educating youth about the climate crisis through forums, film screenings and trainings, and linking them to sustainability professionals.
- • Building youth advocacy skills, including advocating for policies and strategies at community board meetings; authoring editorials; educating adults; and developing sustainability policies with local K-12 schools.
- • Connecting youth to the international youth climate movement, including annual visits to the COP UN Climate Summits as official UN observers.
It’s Our Future works with several community partners including Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, Interfaith Green Network, Chicago Climate Youth Coalition, Sunrise Chicago, Etown Sunrise, Mikva Challenge, CPS, OPRFHS Environmental Club, Citizens’ Greener Evanston, and The River Forest Sustainability Commission. It’s Our Future also works closely with the One Earth Film Festival’s Youth Advisory Council.
For more information on what we’ve been up to, check out our 2021 Year-End Report.
It's Our Future at COP27
It’s Our Future student delegates will be attending the UN Climate Conference, COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt this year!
Five Chicagoland students and one teacher will be reporting on the ground at the conference and sending back dispatches daily about all the action. Get the youth perspective on key issues at the summit, including reparations and finance, decarbonization, and adaptation.
Also, be sure to mark your calendar for November 10th at 12pm Central time for a livestream with our delegates direct from COP. We’re hosting it in partnership with Climate Generation, with support from the One Earth Film Festival.
Get details and register here!
It's Our Future at COP26
We’re thrilled that five IOF students had the chance to attend COP26 – the UN Climate Conference – in Glasgow in 2021. We encourage you to follow the IOF Instagram and Facebook pages to check out coverage from the conference and get the latest IOF news.
Recent IOF Media Coverage:
Learn from our trained Climate Reality Leaders
It’s Our Future has two trained Climate Reality Project leaders that can inspire action for climate solutions in the Oak Park River Forest community and beyond. Jelena and Lizzie, both high school juniors from Oak Park, begin the presentation by telling their own stories about becoming climate activists and end by inspiring their audiences to take action.
Presentations take courage, commitment, and passion and Jelena and Lizzie are enthusiastic about providing your audience with tools and knowledge towards climate crisis solutions.
Events are anywhere from 15 – 45 mins in length via Zoom and time for additional Q&A can be arranged. Presentations can be adapted to suit a wide range of age groups.
Oak Park River Forest High School’s online newspaper, The Trapeze, published ‘Continuing the fight for our climate’ by Lizzie Short HERE.
Listen to our featured podcasts
Watch how we educate, engage and empower Oak Park/River Forest high school aged leaders
Making change in communities
It’s Our Future is calling for change, using the online petition platform to advocate for opt-out composting in Oak Park and River Forest. The youth-led group is trying to collect 500 signatures from residents and plans to bring the issue before the boards of both villages.
Part of the petition states: “Less than 20% of households take advantage of this opportunity to help the Earth and it would be much more beneficial if more people took part in it. When food waste and other items that can be composted are sent to landfills, they can create methane because there isn’t access to oxygen.”