In early 2021, the California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI) sought to center its work in equity, diversify representation, and move to a model of self-governance when it launched a new innovation hub structure. The change has resulted in a far-reaching system of inclusion that has championed new ideas and voices collaborating to achieve environmental literacy for California’s 6.2 million public school students. Past and current CAELI members recognized the importance of centering equity and building a more diverse team of leaders. Their expertise, dedication, perseverance, and commitment to lead CAELI’s past efforts and guide it into the future is immeasurable and greatly appreciated.
CAELI has welcomed more than 30 new members to its innovation hubs over the past year, a wide-ranging collection that includes school district administrators, teachers, executive directors, and leaders of state, county, and community groups. In the coming months, we’ll be introducing the members of these hubs while sharing individual stories that uniquely position them as leaders of change.
The seven innovation hubs focused on Community-Based Partners, County Offices of Education, Districts, Equity, Green Career Education, Policy, and Professional Learning, are spearheaded by two co-leads, one of whom represents the hub on an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee serves to ensure collaboration across the hubs to amplify their efforts. The work of each hub is supported by Ten Strands and organized around CAELI’s theory of action and guiding principles of equity and cultural relevance. Each hub strives to create large-scale, systemic, long-term change in the state’s approach to educating its youth in and about the environment, with a particular emphasis on serving students of color and students from low-income households. Members collaborate to develop and implement a system of support for environmental literacy.
This new structure aims to increase CAELI’s impact through a model where leaders more closely represent California’s demographics. Thanks to the efforts our CAELI volunteer membership has made over the past six years, the innovation hubs will work toward diverse representation to address the collective needs of their community. As the work evolves, it’s critical that change-makers emerge to inspire and push forward our collective goals. For more information about CAELI membership, or to join one of the innovation hubs, email Celeste Royer at firstname.lastname@example.org.