Nonprofit Turning Green Introduces Inaugural Cohort of Project Green Course, an Online International Independent Study Program


Sausalito, CA, August 5, 2021  Project Green Course is a class for 2021. This year, this generation, and the current state of this world have called for a new way to think about climate activism — which has yielded Project Green Course. This August, non-profit Turning Green is launching its first formal course for higher education students to address global solutions for climate change. A cohort of 24 students from around the world will come together with academics in a virtual learning environment to learn, reflect, discuss, share, and act to create new paths toward a just and resilient future. 

The PGCourse class is made up of 24 undergraduate, Master’s, law, and PhD students ages 18 to 60 across five continents who are using technology to address environmental issues, act on climate, and organize in their communities. Amarachi Onyena lectured remotely throughout COVID at the University of Lagos in Nigeria on topics like ecotoxicology; a documentary film reignited Danja Dipokarto’s passion for environmental justice; Macy Benson has been driving a digital campaign to transition California to 100% renewable energy by 2030; Clinton Ezeigwe coordinates a social media #ClaimYourWaterRights campaign in Nigeria around safe water and sanitation, to name just a few of the ways PGCourse students are taking action in their communities, upon which PGCourse will expand. By providing tools, resources and networks, each will have a chance to exercise their passions, develop transferable skills, implement programs, grow, deepen impact and expand reach.

“PGCourse is emerging in the context of intersecting pandemic and ecological crises. It is a direct response to how we serve the most vulnerable and design solutions to the greatest problems of our time. With technology, we are bringing together students from 5 continents for necessary collective action,” explains Natasha Mmonatau, the PGCourse Facilitator.

Education and communication have adapted and shifted to digital platforms, and activism has found strong footing online as well. Project Green Course has been designed for the new social and technological realities, as a module where students meet, study and discuss live from dozens of locations around the globe. 

“Today’s students have realized that they cannot wait until they are older to demand change, especially when environmental challenges lead to a situation where the possibility of growing old is diminished. The ability to mobilize on social media and access more knowledge has allowed students to thrive as change-makers for environmental and social justice activism,” says Rohini Dikshit, a student from Chennai, India, and member of the inaugural cohort of Project Green Course. 

The students will receive mentorship and guidance from a collective of professors, lecturers and experienced advisors working across environmental disciplines, with a view to leverage learnings to design, lead, and implement a climate action project in their own community over the last six weeks of the semester. 

“As a youth-focused organization, we inspire, empower and move mountains with and for the next generation of leaders who are challenged by a world that is in need of healing. Through PGCourse, our task is to demonstrate that their wisdom and voices are vital and that collective impact of everyone working together will incite change,” says Judi Shils, Founder and Executive Director of Turning Green. That is all that we need to do right now! 

In addition to two PGCourse facilitators from the US and Botswana, 5 teaching assistants, and an academic advisory board of professors, guest speakers — including academics, experts, policymakers, and business leaders — will lead each week’s classes. For the student activists, many of whom are already involved in community organizing, this expertise will inform, empower and mobilize each student as they develop the knowledge and skills to be bold, effective, lifelong changemakers. Through experiential learning, rich discussions and small group collaboration, the course will inspire, catalyze and support innovative solutions, benefiting from the diversity of voices and experiences that each student brings. Toward the end of the course, students will share $20,000 in funding to create impactful projects focused on land, water, food, and waste to directly impact their communities far beyond the end of the semester. 

The 100% virtual Project Green Course will result in tangible, positive change grounded by next-generation leaders in cities and towns around the world, promoting collaborative online and offline solutions to our global climate crisis.

To learn more about PGCourse students, speakers and more, visit https://turninggreen.org/programs/project-green-course/.  

About Turning Green

Turning Green is a global student-led movement devoted to cultivating a healthy, just, thriving planet through education and advocacy around climate justice, environmental sustainability, and public health. Founded in 2005 and based in the Bay Area, California, the non-profit organization educates, empowers, and mobilizes elementary, middle, high school, college and graduate students to become visionary catalysts for sustainable change and positive social impact in their lives, school campuses, and local communities.

PGCourse Fall 2021 Cohort: Amarchi Onyena, Ph.D. student at University of Lagos in Nigeria; Anyi Castelblanco, student at Andina Simón Bolívar University in Ecuador; Caesar Belchez, student at Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania, USA; Cecilia Begal, student at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands; Clinton Ezeigwe, law student at Ebonyi State University in Nigeria; Dalton Robberson, student at Colorado Mesa University in Colorado, USA; Danja Dipokarto, student at Anton de Kom University in Suriname; Daniel Koto Dagnon, Master’s student at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin; Filip Momiroski, student at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Macedonia; Juliana Dos Santos, Master’s student at the Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil; Laura Rambaran-Seepersad, graduate student at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago; Macy Benson, student at the University of California, Los Angeles in California, USA; Maria Paula Dávila, student at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Colombia; Merlin Korfmacher, graduate student at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands; Nuppu Mielonen, Master’s student at the University of Eastern Finland in Finland; Rishi Senthil, Master’s student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden; Riya Rampalli, student at Mills College in California, USA; Rohini Dikshit, student at Indian Institute of Technology in India; Sanjana Acharya, Master’s student at Indian Institute of Technology in India; Sinan Kitagenda, student at Makerere University Kampala in Uganda; Snra Majstorovic, student at  Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Macedonia; Stephen Kirk, student at the University of East Anglia in UK; Takunda Tanyanyiwa, Master’s student at the University of Bergen in Norway; and Vittorio Esposito, Master’s degree graduate from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.

eCampus News Staff