Dheera Yalamanchili ’23

Organization: Minneapolis Climate Action

Minneapolis Climate Action is a 501c(3) nonprofit founded in 2007 by a group of dedicated neighbors committed to addressing climate change in their community. After almost 10 years of working at the neighborhood level, the organization expanded to promote action on climate change in all of Minneapolis. Minneapolis Climate Action holds a unique place in our environmental landscape, focusing on equitable action, policy and culture shift in Minneapolis, while partnering and collaborating with regional, culturally specific, and national organizations. Our main areas of climate action are community solar gardens, zero waste and neighborhood organizing. All of our work starts with building trusting relationships and is executed through the lens of equity and a commitment to creating new systems of relating to each other and the planet that do not perpetuate toxic systems that created climate change and societal inequities we see today.

Leila Gassmann ’23

Organization: Project Sweetie Pie 

Project Sweetie Pie supports urban agriculture and environmental justice in North Minneapolis and beyond.

Mariko Yatsuhashi ’24

Organization: MN Renewable Now

We familiarize, educate, and connect people to renewable energy and energy efficiency resources and options in underserved populations. You can learn more by reading this article.

Lena Pak ’25

Organization: FRAYEO

Fortune Relief and Youth Empowerment Organization (FRAYEO) was founded in 2016. Since its inception the organization has grown into a leading refugee and immigrant organization in the Twin Cities metro area. Our mission is to provide economic development, Climate education/advocacy and other support services to youth and adults in the community by focusing on stabilizing the economic and social lives of the members of the East African community by assisting with cultural adjustment and increasing the socio-economic well-being of the community. We strive to achieve this goal by providing a continuum of care to the East African community and culturally specific programs aimed at positively transforming the social and economic structures that oftentimes result in poverty, violence, trauma and poor educational outcomes. In addition to assisting with day-to-day stability among families, we also focus on empowering the next generation of East Africans by working with the youth through climate stewardship and advocacy programs. At FRAYEO we work to overcome the barriers Twin Cities immigrants and refugees face in their adjustment to a new life and help families reach the stability they deserve.