Brower Youth Awards

Chloe Maxmin

Nobleboro, ME

Challenging one of the oldest higher education institutions in the U.S. to divest from fossil fuels

Chloe Maxmin was instrumental in getting Harvard University join the growing movement across US campuses calling for college and university administrations to divest from fossil fuels. In September 2012, after researching her university’s past divestment campaigns against apartheid in South Africa and Big Tobacco, Maxmin cofounded Divest Harvard. Since then she has worked on galvanizing a student and community movement to take university funds out of corporations that make money by contributing to climate change. Maxmin started out as an environmental activist at age 12 when she became an outspoken critic of a proposed development in Maine’s North Woods. In 2007 she founded the online youth network “First Here, Then Everywhere” which works to connect youth activists around the world. Maxmin’s current campaign at Harvard took advantage of a campuswide referendum in which 72 percent of voting undergraduates supported fossil fuel divestment. The referendum – along with outreach to alumni, faculty and various student groups – helped Divest Harvard secure meetings with trustees and started a new conversation about fossil fuels at the oldest university in the country.

Profile Film

Award Acceptance Speech