The University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership hosted a special event on January 28 at the Bell Museum to honor Minnesota climate leaders who are ensuring our state is responding to and preparing for a changing climate. Presented annually since 2014, the MN Climate Adaptation Awards celebrate exceptional achievements in leadership, education, research, policies, and practices that strengthen our resilience to climate change and advance climate justice. This year’s event recognized five award recipients:
- Individual: Mindy Granley for her efforts as Sustainability Officer at the City of Duluth to improve policies, programs, and initiatives in support of climate adaptation.
- Organization: Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District for prioritizing climate adaptation in its current and past plans, and making a firm commitment to achieving climate resiliency goals.
- Collaborative: Resilience and Adaptation Action Team for collaborating to develop the “Resilient Communities” chapter and other resilience and adaptation content of the Minnesota Climate Action Framework.
- Climate Communication Award: Change Narrative LLC for building capacity in the climate justice movement through utilizing storytelling to repair harm and shift historical and damaging narratives in mainstream climate communications.
- Climate Justice Leadership: Michael Chaney for leadership as founder of Project Sweetie Pie and other grassroots initiatives that engage stakeholders in addressing issues of structural racism and equity, and advancing community-led restorative development.
The 2023 MCAP Awards were presented by Dr. Mark Seeley, former Extension Climatologist and longtime MPR commentator. Keynote speaker, Jothsna Harris, shared reflections based on a decade of experience about the power of helping people to craft personal climate change narratives to build confidence and advocate for solutions. Award recipients also participated on a panel, moderated by Sven Sundgaard, where they talked about the necessity of partnership, and ways of inviting everyone who is impacted into trusting, reciprocal, collaborative efforts to prepare for climate change.