So who is CYCC? The Chicago Youth Climate Coalition (CYCC) is an student-organized intercollegiate group representing several schools throughout the Chicago area focused on building a holistic climate movement.
CYCC acts first as a network for students to share resources, ideas and interests relating to environmental justice issues and sustainable cultural production. With year-round meetings on alternating Sundays, CYCC hosts student-led organizing trainings, rallies, and works to connect group members to local efforts and organizations.
Members of CYCC
Marissa Lieberman-Klein (founding member)
My name is Marissa Lieberman-Klein. I helped found CYCC back in January 2011 when I and other students from across the city decided that we should form a city-wide student and youth coalition so that we could pool our ideas and resources and build more power. At the time, we were focused on closing the Fisk and Crawford coal plants which were located in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods. CYCC played a huge role in that campaign, and I contributed by attending Chicago Clean Power Coalition steering committee meetings (of which CYCC is a member), helping to organize the Chicago action for 350.org‘s International Day of Climate Action, even getting a student speaker at that event. Once we won the fight against Fisk and Crawford, I helped spearhead the community aggregation campaign in the summer and fall of 2012. Since I was chairing the Clean Power Coalition’s field team, I made sure we had students at rallies and events, and i made sure that the student voice was heard, even going to a meeting with the mayor’s staff! After tat campaign ended by successfully getting coal out of Chicago’s power supply, I turned to organizing logistics for CYCC’s solidarity rally against the Keystone XL pipeline in February, and I helped to emcee the rally. Even though I’ve never held an official position in CYCC, I attend meetings regularly, have one-on-ones with members and potential members, and help structure the organization, because I think the work CYCC is doing and the community it is creating is so important. I’ll miss being a part of CYCC once I graduate and leave Chicago in June, but I hope to use what I’ve learned in all of my future endeavors!