Jerome Foster II

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Jerome Foster II
Member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council
Assumed office
March 29, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byOffice established
Personal details
Born (2002-05-09) May 9, 2002 (age 19)[1]
Washington, D.C., U.S.
NationalityAfrican American
OccupationClimate Justice Activist
Awards

Jerome Foster II (born May 9, 2002) is an American climate justice activist and voting rights advocate. He is the youngest-ever White House Advisor in United States history, serving on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council within the Biden administration. He has been a leading voice for Black and indigenous visibility in climate activism. He is one of the major organizers of Fridays for Future Washington; holding weekly climate strikes at the front gates of the White House for over 57 weeks. He has previously served as a congressional intern for U.S. Representative John Lewis at the age of 16 years old and served on the Washington DC State Board of Education's Advisory Council at the age of 14 years old.[2][3][4]

He currently is the executive director of OneMillionOfUs, an international youth advocacy and voting rights organization. Foster is known for delivering passionate speeches advocating for the use of intergovernmental unity and climate justice as a means to help mitigate climate change in accordance to the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming and the Green New Deal Resolution. He also is an entrepreneur and led three social impact and technology ventures: TAU VR, The Climate Reporter, and OneMillionOfUs.

Foster has helped to organize three of the top ten largest climate marches across the Washington, D.C. area and has spoken at the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights in April 2019 and the United Nations Youth Climate Summit in September 2019. He gained international recognition after being the first consecutive climate striker in Washington DC[5] and being interviewed by Former Vice President Al Gore at the Atlanta Climate Reality Leadership Training in March 2019.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Jerome Foster II was born on 9 May 2002 and was raised in Washington, D.C.[7][8][9] to mother René Foster and father Jerome Foster Sr.[citation needed]

Attended the high school, Washington Leadership Academy, an XQ Super School. In 2019, he was selected by the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education to attend Harvard University[10] during his eleventh grade summer to take "International Environmental Governance, Policy, and Social Justice" and Calculus II.[11] Foster graduated from Washington Leadership Academy in June 2020 and studies computer science at Pace University.[12][13]

Activism and entrepreneurship[edit]

TAU VR[edit]

When Foster was 14 years old, he founded an immersive technology company, TAU VR which built Virtual Reality Environments regarding American History, Climate Change, and Latin American Immigration to the United States, and more. In September of 2017, TAU VR was featured on XQ Super School Live,[14] which was aired on ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX which depicted his story of winning 3rd Place at the World Series of Entrepreneurship at the age of 14.[14]

White House climate strikes[edit]

As a part of Greta Thunberg's School Strike for Climate protest, Foster held weekly climate strikes[15] in front of the White House in Lafayette Square.[16] On September 13, 2019, Thunberg as a part of her trans-American voyage to COP 25 in Santiago, Chile,[17] joined Foster's White House climate strikes which drew thousands to the site.[18][19] During his time at Harvard University, he held weekly climate strikes on the steps in front of Widener Library with Divest Harvard organizers who called on the university to divest their endowments in the fossil fuel industry. He helped get 186 additional signatures[20][21] for their petition to Harvard University during his 3 months that summer. After Foster return from Harvard University in late 2019, he was approached by Jane Fonda where he was asked to help found and construct Fire Drill Fridays which was a weekly climate strike held in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.[citation needed]

OneMillionOfUs[edit]

Foster founded OneMillionOfUs in early 2019.[22][23][24] Which is an international non-profit youth voting and advocacy organization. It aims to educate, empower and mobilise a movement of young people to be civically active and engage on the local and global stage through their intersectional youth-focused civic partnerships, OneMillionOfUs has built a large coalition that will provide young people with the tools they need to spur systemic change in their communities, school buildings and political offices..[25] This organization also created a "Uniting Youth Coalition"[26] representing 5 youth social movements: gun violence, climate change, immigration reform, gender equality, and racial equality to have a space on both the local and international level to coordinate events and campaigns between movements.

The Climate Reporter[edit]

Foster, in November 2017, founded The Climate Reporter,[27][28] an international youth-led climate-focused news outlet.

Political career[edit]

District of Columbia State Board of Education[edit]

At 15 years old, Foster became the sole student representative serving on the District of Columbia State Board of Education High School Graduation Requirements Task Force, working to modernize high school graduation requirements starting with the class of 2030 across the District.[29]

Congressional internship[edit]

At 16 years old, Foster applied to be an intern for U.S. Representative John Lewis, as described in an interview in late 2020.[30] On Fridays during his internship, he held weekly climate rallies at the front gates of the White House as a part of Greta Thunberg's Fridays For Future movement to advocate for the passage of the Climate Change Education Act which would add environmental education as a core subject in all American schools and provide funding for colleges to further research into the climate crisis.[31]

Biden administration[edit]

On March 29, 2021, the White House announced that Foster would serve as an advisor on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, providing recommendations on environmental injustice.[32][13][33]

Honors and awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ @JeromeFosterII (8 May 2020). "I am so excited be 18 years old tomorrow. That means I will be vote in this November Presidential Election!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "White House Announces Environmental Justice Advisory Council Members". The White House (in American English). 29 March 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Meet Jerome Foster II, Teen Climate Hero and Greta Thunberg's Friend: Saving the Planet Is 'Up to Us'". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  4. ^ "'I'm hopeful': Jerome Foster, the 18-year-old helping to craft US climate policy". the Guardian. 13 April 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  5. ^ Li, Ang (14 March 2019). "'It Will Be Too Late for My Generation.' Meet the Young People Organizing a Massive Climate Change Protest". TIME Magazine.
  6. ^ "Three Great Moments From our Atlanta Training". Climate Reality. 6 April 2019.
  7. ^ 30 January; Smith-Janssen, 2020 Karen L. "He's Leading D.C.'s Movement for Climate Action—and He's a High School Senior". NRDC. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Planning protests, not prom: Inside today's youth climate strike movement". Earth Day. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Teenage climate activist Jerome Foster is in a race against time – and adults". The Washington Post.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Jerome Foster II". earthoptimism.si.edu. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Jerome Foster II, The American Greta Thunberg". The Green Market Oracle. Retrieved 24 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ @JeromeFosterII (14 July 2020). "I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL!!
    I am incredibly excited to have graduated AND even prouder to be apart of the Class 2020, forever marked as a class of resiliency. We didn't get a proper prom or graduation but we still graduated together as peers. #ClassOf2020"
    (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ a b "'I'm hopeful': Jerome Foster, the 18-year-old helping to craft US climate policy". the Guardian. 13 April 2021.
  14. ^ a b XQ Super School Live Jerome Foster II. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  15. ^ Rodriguez/ABC7, Ashlie (6 March 2020). "DC HS student has held climate change rally in front of White House for 57 weeks in a row". WJLA. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  16. ^ "This 16-Year-Old Is Taking the School Climate Strike to the U.S. Capitol". Yes! Magazine (in American English). Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  17. ^ correspondent, Fiona Harvey Environment (1 November 2019). "Madrid to host UN climate summit after Chile pulls out". The Guardian (in British English). ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Kelsey Juliana v. U.S.: Meet the Young Woman Suing the Federal Government over the Climate Crisis". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  19. ^ ""Our future is a right". Youth climate activists strike outside White House". Earth Day. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Give Climate Warning ⚠ to Harvard University: Harvard Stop Investing in Fossil Fuel Corporations". Climate Warning to Harvard University. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  21. ^ @WeDontHaveTime (21 July 2019). "By continuing to invest in the fossil fuel industry, @Harvard ⚠️ perpetuates and profits from the destruction of all our futures..." (Tweet). Retrieved 29 July 2020 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ "OneMillionOfUs". C-SPAN. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  23. ^ "19 youth climate activists you should be following on social media". Earth Day. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  24. ^ "Jerome Foster". C-SPAN. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  25. ^ McKibben, Bill. "OneMillionOfUs' Plan to Revolutionize the Youth Vote in America". The New Yorker. Retrieved 24 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ McKibben, Bill. "What Can the Coronavirus Teach Us?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Global Climate Strike: 5 Youth Activists Who Are Leading the Charge on Climate Action". Rainforest Alliance. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  28. ^ Hansen, Terri (20 September 2019). "Four Climate Scientists on How to Take on Climate Change Today". NationofChange (in American English). Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  29. ^ "Rethinking the District's High School Graduation Requirements | sboe". sboe.dc.gov. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  30. ^ Meredith, Karenna (20 August 2020). "Activist Jerome Foster II Shares the Valuable Lessons Congressman John Lewis Taught Him". POPSUGAR News (in American English). Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  31. ^ Dingell, Debbie (23 April 2019). "H.R.2349 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Climate Change Education Act". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  32. ^ "White House Announces Environmental Justice Advisory Council Members". The White House. 29 March 2021. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  33. ^ "White House Announces Environmental Justice Advisory Council Members". The White House (in American English). 29 March 2021. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  34. ^ "Alumni". World Series of Entrepreneurship | Changing the Trajectory of Lives (in American English). Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  35. ^ "Jerome Foster Rethinking the District's High School Graduation Requirements". D.C. State Board of Education. Retrieved 20 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. ^ "2019 UCS Science Defenders". Union of Concerned Scientists. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  37. ^ "Jerome Foster II | 2020 Youth Environmental Champion" (in American English). Retrieved 20 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  38. ^ "Jerome Foster II Grist 50: 2020: Celebrating 5 Years of Fixers". Grist. Retrieved 20 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  39. ^ "Young Futurists 2020: America Needs Leaders Now More Than Ever. Here Are 25 Who Are Already About That Life". The Root (in American English). Retrieved 17 April 2020.

External links[edit]