In honor of Earth Day 2022, Brooklyn State Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie announced this year’s State Budget includes funding for an innovative partnership to connect young people from New York City to career pathways in climate and environmental science. The program will be jointly led by SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry and CUNY’s Medgar Evers College, and will bring students to the Adirondack Park for an innovative summer experience.
“Communities like the ones I represent have been on the receiving end of environmental injustice for far too long, and as we’ve seen with recent major storms, our warming climate disproportionately impacts low-income people of color,” said Myrie. “This funding will expose the next generation of climate leaders to career pathways in sustainability and environmental science, as well as racial justice and civil rights history in the Adirondacks. I’m grateful to my partner, Assembly Member Michaelle Solages, who helped lead the fight for this important program.”
New York’s Adirondack Park was a cradle of the early civil rights movement, dating back to the mid-1800s. Specifically, Timbuctoo, outside of Lake Placid, was the site of an early black suffrage settlement, one of eight known settlements in the Adirondacks that enabled 3,000 black men to meet the property requirements granting them the right to vote in New York. This history of opportunity at Timbuctoo will be honored and celebrated by creating a modern Timbuctoo 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 perspective. This summer institute will connect youth from the Hudson River harbor to its headwaters in the Adirondack Mountains.
“I am pleased that CUNY-Medgar Evers College (MEC), a College with social justice in its DNA, will serve as one of the lead institutions in this important environmental science and social justice initiative,” said MEC President Patricia Ramsey. “MEC offers an environmental science bachelor’s degree program with faculty expertise in numerical modeling of planetary atmospheres, indoor/outdoor health, and renewable and sustainable energy. The faculty currently involve undergraduate students in their research and incorporate collaborations with K-12 teachers and students in NYC, as described on our website. This funding will help MEC to expand the hands-on experiences outside of NYC to the Timbuctoo community in the Adirondacks, where nature will be our laboratory and our classroom.”