GPSEN is a cooperative learning network that leverages our collective knowledge and resources to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Portland region, with a focus on climate justice and intersectional sustainability.
We believe everyone has something vital to teach and to learn about sustainability, and the keys for growth and building trust are open dialogue and engagement.
We envision a Portland region where cooperation, mutual learning and service contribute to a sustainability movement that centers environmental and climate justice. We aspire to a more just future, free from harm and exploitation, with stronger connections between people and place.
GPSEN is a Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainability (ESD), recognized by the United Nations University (UNU). RCEs promote the SDGs by facilitating multi-sector collaboration designed to achieve collective impact across the region. Network members include nonprofits, academic and civic institutions, students and youth, scholar activists, community-builders and storytellers.
We also believe in the idea of a Goal Zero: Sustaining the Human Spirit – a unifying goal to bring attention to the importance of a relational worldview and solidarity with people and over profit.
That which sustains the human spirit is also the solution for our collective struggles.
GPSEN operates in the Greater Portland metro area, encompassing Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Clark Counties. There are currently 181 RCEs worldwide, comprising the Global RCE Network. GPSEN is one of just ten RCEs in the United States, part of the 28-member RCE Americas.
Education and engagement are the twin drivers to advance the SDGs. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has developed a new Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 initiative, prioritizing local action and policy, capacity-building, transformative learning, and youth empowerment. Our programs seek to align with these priorities.
SDG Target 4.7 – Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.
The Portland Youth Climate Collective (PYCC) mobilizes youth leadership through shared learning, collaboration and mutual care, helping to build a stronger, more inclusive youth climate justice movement in the PNW. PYCC’s vision is to create space and support for young people and youth-led organizations to build a bottom-up movement for activating youth leadership in climate justice.
The Portland Youth Climate Summit was created by and for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color youth in partnership with the City of Portland. The First Annual Youth Climate Action Summit in December 2020 was an opportunity for youth at any level of organizing to get involved in climate action, centering youth voices from frontline communities and environmental and climate justice organizations. We are organizing a Second Annual Youth Climate Action Summit, in April 2022. Applications are open for young people (approx. 16-26) to join the Summit Planning Committee and receive a paid stipend. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
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GPSEN Leadership (FY21-22)
Giang Nguyen (she/her), Board member
Jade Menchaca (she/her), Board member, PYCC Co-Lead
Jonathan Ostar (he/him), Director/Network Convener
Owen Rudloff (he/him), Board member
Serena Dressel (she/her), Board member, PYCC Co-Lead
Tahira Abbas (she/her), Board member
Kim Smith (she/her), Co-Founder, RCE Network Liaison
3558 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Suite #2
Portland, Oregon 97214