Defend Our Future runs two programs to cultivate the next generation of climate leaders. Through these programs, we engage young people between 18 and 35, teaching them the basics of organizing and providing the knowledge and tactics they need to be voices for their community. Each program emphasizes the importance of community input and environmental justice through robust training and encouraging our ambassadors and fellows to speak from their own experiences.
Started in 2018, Defend Our Future’s Campus Ambassador program connects college students to climate action. Campus Ambassadors run volunteer chapters on their college campus. They put on educational events, collaborate with other campus organizations and local businesses, and engage local to federal-level decision-makers on what the climate needs of their generation are.
Each summer, campus ambassadors travel to Washington, D.C., for a three-day training session culminating in office visits with their home-state representatives on Capitol Hill. The map below outlines the current states with Defend Our Future Campus Ambassadors and Community Organizing Fellows.
Community Organizing Fellows
Launched in 2023, the Community Organizing Fellow program engages young professionals, recent grads, and anyone in between who wants to make a difference in their community. This program is a partnership between Defend Our Future, which provides skills training, technical support and career mentoring, and a local environmental nonprofit in the fellow’s community, providing the hands-on opportunity. Each fellow will get real experience in the non-profit climate field, learning what it means to be a civically engaged member of their community and why it is so important to tailor climate solutions to community needs. Each cohort runs for six months.
Currently, Fellows are based in Denver, CO, Phoenix, AZ and Washington, DC. In Phoenix, we are partnering with Vote Solar, in Denver, Colorado Rising and in D.C., Our Climate.