New Voices Are Rising

Students from the 2017 Summer Institute

New Voices Are Rising seeks to increase civic participation within under-represented communities, increase young people’s commitment to environmental justice, and reduce air and water pollution that severely impact both human health and the health of the San Francisco Bay. The program helps young people gain the skills and experience in civic engagement that they need to begin to tackle the problems – including environmental health problems – that disproportionately impact their communities.


Two to four students from the Summer Institute are recruited to become New Voices Are Rising Fellows during the school year, giving them the opportunity to pursue environmental justice work in greater depth. The students use the skills they learned and the leadership potential they developed, applying it to community capacity-building and outreach projects with New Voices and program partners focused on reducing toxic exposure, addressing climate change, and increasing competency in low-income communities and communities of color to meaningfully engage in environmental decision-making.



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What’s New with New Voices

Apply to the 2018 Summer Acadamy! Applications are now open

The Summer Climate Justice Leadership Academy (Summer Academy) is an intensive 6-week program for youth and young adults 15-19 in Oakland. Join a community of people who want to make sure that all Oakland residents can survive and thrive in a changing climate.

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New Voices Tests the Water

“Ploop ploop ploop” is the unique sound made by pouring out a bottle filled with lake mud and water. During New Voices Are Rising students’ and Rose Foundation staff’s recent cleanup of Oakland’s Lake Merritt, we pulled out several bottles and a number of odd bits of trash from the lake’s brackish water.

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“We’re Not Crazy, We’re Just Trying to Breathe Out Here”

Yesterday, New Voices Are Rising Intern Coordinator Mykela Patton led a march and rally to protest ongoing maneuvers to bring dirty coal into Oakland. In January, US District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled that developer Phil Tagami’s lawsuit challenging Oakland’s ban on shipping coal within the city will receive a trial. Tagami is attempting to overturn the Oakland City Council’s 2014 unanimous adoption of a measure to ban coal shipments within the city.

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Join New Voices and Stand up to Fossil Fuels

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled that Phil Tagami’s lawsuit challenging the City of Oakland’s ban on coal will head to trial. A youth led and youth organized rally will show Tagami and the City of Oakland that the youth will not stand for coal in their city. The rally will begin at Street Academy 417 29th St, Oakland, CA 94609 to Oakland City Hall down Broadway.

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New Voices Meet the Mayor

Earlier in the year, our New Voices Are Rising students wrote letters to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf asking for action on the issue of gentrification. Our students want to live in a clean and green Oakland, and also a city where residents aren’t displaced by development and rising rent prices.

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Thank you to our institutional program funders, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California EPA, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the East Bay Municipal Utilities District and the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth.




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