New York State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie announced on Friday the inclusion of funding for a new summer climate careers initiative in this year’s State Budget.

The initiative will connect NYC college students to career pathways in climate and environmental science and will be jointly led by SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry and CUNY’s Medgar Evers College.

This summer, students will go to New York’s Adirondack Park, a cradle of the early civil rights movement, dating back to the mid-1800s. Specifically, Timbuctoo, outside of Lake Placid, was the site of an early black suffrage settlement, one of eight known settlements in the Adirondacks that enabled 3,000 black men to meet the property requirements granting them the right to vote in New York.

“The original Timbuctoo settlement of the mid-1800s offered Black people a new opportunity and a way to have a say in their future. This program will offer a similar experience,” sad Forever Adirondacks Campaign Director Aaron Mair. 

“By training new generations of New Yorkers about the national treasure that is the Adirondack Park, they can see the multitude of benefits the Park provides to everyone – from New York City to Buffalo to Plattsburgh – and leverage that training into protecting the environment in the future.

This history of opportunity at Timbuctoo will be honored and celebrated by creating a modern Timbuctoo Pipeline at the intersection of climate science and green careers, preparing young people for the threats and opportunities of the 21st century.

“Communities like the ones I represent have been on the receiving end of environmental injustice for far too long, and as we’ve seen with recent major storms, our warming climate disproportionately impacts low-income people of color,” Myrie said. 

“This funding will expose the next generation of climate leaders to career pathways in sustainability and environmental science, as well as racial justice and civil rights history in the Adirondacks.”

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