Climate change is an existential crisis, one that calls upon our generation to use every technique we know to adapt.
Our future rests upon re-imagining our relationships with our energy sources, cultures, waterways, and regional ecosystems on the Colorado Plateau.
We stoke the fire for this challenging work through creative storytelling, community, and action.
Watch the video to learn more about our work.
Stay tuned for our 2018 Conference.
Never heard of the colorado plateau?
You might live here. Chances are, you've visited. Picture redrock cliffs along the Colorado River, flaming aspens illuminating the mountains each fall, and old-growth Ponderosa pine forests. The Colorado Plateau encompasses about 130,000 square miles of the Southwest, roughly centered on the Four Corners. Much of this landscape is public land, whether protected as a National Park, or managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or tribal agencies. We love where we work!
“On a Friday evening in Flagstaff, this poem was shared to a crowd of young people grappling with our current climate crisis through storytelling. Stories were shared throughout the night of dying aspen, desecrated mountains, and deadly cancer, as well as clear visions for the future and the process of getting where we want to be. […]”
"On Sunday November 5th, thousands dawned white jumpsuits and marched towards the last coal mine in Bonn, Germany, occupying it for the full day and shutting down operations completely. This beautifully executed civil uprising, called Ende Gelände (which means “Here and no further” in German), was one of the largest demonstrations of its kind. I had the opportunity to march alongside German activists with other Uplifters and reflect in awe about the scale of people power and potential for saving our climate through mass uprising. […]”
“One could say Uplift has been millions of years in the making. The major uplift which lifted the Colorado Plateau from sea-level to several thousand feet, the continental drift that moved the Plateau from the equator, and that separated the Plateau from Pangea to the American continent, all came together to physically place the Plateau where it is today. But these are just the geologic forces that made the Colorado Plateau. […]”
At my college, I am not just an environmental studies major, but I have been a mentor for our low-income/first generation college students for years. One of the many things I have realized as a poor environmentalist, is that many of our low-income/first generation students do not participate in our Outdoor Education Center (OEC), not even in the trips. Although they do a lot to reach out to us, letting students borrow expensive gear and subsidizing expensive trips, I don’t even use the center. I think I know why.
In northern Alberta, the Athabsca River flows north past boreal forest, peat and muskeg. This forested landscape and watershed are the traditional lands of the Cree, Dene and Metis among other First Nations, who have lived a semi-nomadic foraging lifestyle since time immemorial.
Hello! My name is Eva Malis and I am 21 years old. I grew up in the sunny suburbs of Los Angeles County and was fortunate to spend many of my growing years romping through the Eastern Sierras. I have spent the more recent years of my life in the SF Bay Area as a UC Berkeley student, and have experienced the Colorado Plateau through the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program.
Meet Elea Ziegelbaum, an 18-year-old climate activist living in Flagstaff, Arizona. She is currently in her senior year of high school at Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy. We first met Elea when she walked into a Flagstaff community meeting last July, and have learned more about her work since Uplift in August 2016. We asked her the following questions to get a better sense of the interplay between Uplift and other regional movements.
It’s been three months since Uplift’s powerful gathering of young climate justice activists from across the Colorado Plateau. Five of us who dreamed, schemed, and learned at Uplift now find ourselves bringing heart to COP22—the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco. When Kayla reflects on Uplift, she feels that Uplift “strives to incorporate the local voice and have difficult conversations connecting social issues to the environment.”
A professor of mine once justified a syllabus comprised almost entirely of male writers with the flip comment that perhaps women had not yet written a "seminal" body of work. Therefore, women did not belong in the Western cannon. Now, I know this to be false. Yet it demonstrates how as women writers and women readers, we are tasked with shouldering the work to undo the sexism, racism, and classism upheld within the literary establishment.
We engage in storytelling, art, and music, because we believe creative vulnerability is the truest pathway to reconnecting with ourselves.
As the 2016 Uplift Climate Conference rapidly approaches, the Uplift organizing team experiences moments of frantic and youthful dis-organization. It seems like finals week in college, and the only way to reassure ourselves is to say, “It will all get done.”