Since 2000, the New Leaders Initiative program has provided cutting edge and innovative youth programming across the United States. The goal of all New Leaders Initiative programming is to engage, grow and support environmental and social justice youth activists so that they can reach the highest version of themselves. This goal is met by providing local and national programming to build the capacity of young emerging activists. Our youth programming includes fellowships, micro grants, media training, mentorship, visioning, coaching and leadership development, professional skill building, webinars, networking events, workshops, community partnerships, and providing access to resources and relationships to lead and sustain effective campaigns and projects.
The flagship event of the New Leaders Initiative is the Brower Youth Awards, which has recognized outstanding youth leaders who are making strides in the environmental movement. The public ceremony and national award is hosted by the New Leaders Initiative and presented by Earth Island Institute.
The Brower Youth Awards has recognized 123 outstanding, emerging youth leaders, representing accomplishments across the full spectrum of the environmental movement. Each year, six young people based in North America are awarded a cash prize of 3,000 dollars. On the night of the award ceremony, before an audience of 800 people at the historic War Memorial Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, the winners’ inspiring stories are told in short documentary videos. They also deliver an acceptance speech about their project or campaign – inspiring environmental activism amongst the audience. Leading up to the award ceremony, the New Leaders Initiative provides a week long forum that includes mentorship, training, visioning, networking, career coaching to build skills and capacity to effect change. Lastly, we have a deep commitment to elevating voices from all different socio-economic and culturally diverse backgrounds so that they can move forward as successful innovators and activists. Our winners join a growing movement of young awardees who are recognized for their sustainable projects, innovative ideas, and informed analyses.