Campus Compact Receives AmeriCorps Funding for National Campus Climate Action Corps
Campus Compact today announced it received over $1M in AmeriCorps State & National funding to expand the Campus Climate Action Corps (CCAC) program nationwide. CCAC is a new Campus Compact initiative that aims to build the capacity of campuses and their community partners to create change that leads to increased energy efficiency and improvements for at-risk ecosystems by implementing local solutions for underserved households and communities.
CCAC is built on the foundation laid by Maine Campus Compact’s programs, the Maine Partnership for Environmental Stewardship and Maine Energy AmeriCorps Programs, which ran from 2017-2021.
CCAC programming will be led by Sally Slovenski, executive director of Maine Campus Compact, who will take on the role of CCAC program director. Sally has 11 years of experience working with Campus Compact members in Maine and beyond on sustainability and environmental justice efforts. To support her in this work, Campus Compact is now conducting a nationwide search for a full-time Campus Climate Action Corps Program Manager. The program will additionally hire two program coordinators at a later stage in its development.
“Through the Maine Partnership for Environmental Stewardship and Energy AmeriCorps Programs, AmeriCorps members in Maine created measurable impact for underserved communities throughout Maine,” said Sally. “Given that the United Nations has declared that there is an urgent need to reduce human-induced carbon emissions dramatically—45% by 2030 and net zero by 2050—we are eager to use the extensive experience and knowledge we have gained to mobilize and energize higher education to reduce CO2 emissions and to avert the most devastating impacts of our changing climate. The reality is that programs like CCAC are needed now more than ever to meaningfully address climate change.”
CCAC will begin with an initial launch in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast. In these regions, teams of CCAC AmeriCorps Members will host community environmental education events, conduct home energy assessments, including home energy assistance referrals, and implement low-tech home energy interventions to help advance public knowledge and increase motivation to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions. CCAC Members will also implement projects in underserved communities that enhance ecosystem health and leverage local volunteers to support CCAC environmental stewardship activities.
“Climate change is the most defining issue of our time,” said Matt Farley, Campus Compact director of administration and national service programs. “Higher education is already engaged in the fight against climate change through research, teaching, developing degree and certification programs, decreasing campus carbon footprints, and engaging students in multiple forms of local climate change-related service. The Campus Climate Action Corps seeks to build upon those efforts by leveraging AmeriCorps resources to expand student engagement, support communities that are most at risk, and build capacity for other environmental education activities on and off campus. This project is another way to help campuses realize their role as anchor institutions in their local communities.”