Start:Empowerment (S:E) is a rapidly growing 501c3 nonprofit working in NYC and Austin established in 2019 by Kier Blake and Alexia Leclercq and
Through the infusion of environmental justice histories, organizing skills and urban-agro training, and political education frameworks, Start:Empowerment not only introduces more diverse content, drives student growth, and generates community impact but contributes to the building, strengthening, and connecting of various movements in NYC and beyond to the current climate crisis.
In 2020-21, S:E expanded from its two founders to include a volunteer staff and intern team managing everything from publications to community engagement, e.g. events, newsletters, and other initiatives. In 2022, we were able to bring on a third staff member, Alysha Berry, as well as launch our Summer School series and other public events under our Climate Justice Community School (CJCS)! Our programming both under the CJCS and in classrooms aims to raise public consciousness on environmental justice issues, especially as they pertain to social justice topics and other movement intersectionalities.
The success of our work has been our robust relationship building in community and collaboration with other (hyper)local organizations, collectives, coalitions, and groups in New York and Texas. Thus, we are indebted to these critical partners in creating accessible, radical community courses, excursions, and webinars on a wide range of topics for the general public.
we're at the nexus of environmental justice organizing and climate education.
Our co-founders, Alexia Leclercq (left) and Kier Blake (right).