Uplift is a climate justice conference created for, and by, young people. We believe our movement needs to amplify young, diverse voices and to focus on the communities most impacted by climate change. We are rooted in the red rock cliffs, sacred landscapes, and precious waters of the Colorado Plateau.
What is climate justice?
Climate justice makes climate change a social issue by centering communities on the frontlines of climate disaster while resisting exploitative institutions, systems, and power structures that perpetuate inequity in order to honor life.
We seek to empower and unite young leaders to address climate change on the Colorado Plateau.
We, as youth, are rising. We envision a future in which we meet the needs of our communities by addressing climate injustice. We celebrate the diverse peoples, ecosystems, and landscapes of the Colorado Plateau as we engage with the threat of climate change in the places we love. We want future generations to come of age with the hope and resilience necessary to live in our uncertain world.
Uplift is committed to equity, inclusion, and justice. We recognize the historical context of inequity and oppression on which climate and environmental movements have been built upon. In order to bring equity and justice to our work, we strive to further empower marginalized identities in our leadership and our movement. We strive to create a culture of inclusiveness in our community.
In November of 2014, ten twenty-somethings gathered at the historic Kane Ranch near the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. Their goal? Organize a gathering of young people across the Colorado Plateau to spark meaningful action through thoughtful conversation. They decided to call the gathering “Uplift,” inspired by the geologic process that led to the rise of the Colorado Plateau. With support from the Grand Canyon Trust and the Landscape Conservation Initiative, the first Uplift Conference in the spring of 2015 engaged nearly 100 young people. The discussions at Uplift 2015 sparked a new focus on climate change and climate justice.
Ever since then, we have organized three annual Uplift Climate Conferences, with the most recent one taking place near Moab, UT. These gatherings have brought together hundreds of young change-makers to learn, build, and take action together. Beyond the conference, we have built the Uplift Climate Action Council, a network of young regional activists working together to take action towards climate justice. Climate change, the ultimate threat to our home communities, is never far from our minds. We believe each of us has a vital role to play in this movement, and by coming together we can build an unbreakable movement for climate justice.