We, at Protégete, firmly believe that the most effective environmental and climate justice policies are created when diverse voices from the communities most affected contribute their lived experiences to the decision-making process. In pursuit of this goal, we established the Climate Justice Leadership Academy, which serves as a driving force for change through community-trained leaders.

At the core of the Climate Leadership Academy’s mission is the emphasis on centering Latine issues and elevating Latine leadership in environmental and climate policy-making. By doing so, we cultivate leaders from frontline communities who possess firsthand knowledge of the challenges impacting their neighborhoods, understand the shortcomings of current institutions, and know the necessary solutions for their communities to thrive.

To ensure the future of Latine environmental advocates, the Climate Justice Leadership Academy established a Boards and Commissions Fellowship, which prepares community members to serve in boards or commissions and learn diverse topics including parliamentary procedure, how decisions are made, public meeting law, and conflict management.

Fellows spend eight hours per month in this six-month training program hearing from experts in jointly facilitated discussions and meet monthly for coaching sessions with a chosen mentor. Fellows are expected to complete homework between sessions.

The first-ever cohort of fellows have begun their work to prepare for future leadership. With their dedication, the vision of building power for the future of Colorado can become a reality.