Start:Empowerment (S:E) is a rapidly growing 501c3 nonprofit working in NYC and Austin established in 2019 by Kier Blake and Alexia Leclercq.
Today, S:E's staff, Alexia, Kier, and it's newest staff member, Alysha Berry, work to infuse environmental justice histories, organizing skills, urban-agro training, and political education frameworks, into learning spaces not only introduces more diverse content, drive learner growth, and generate community impact but to also contribute to the building, strengthening, and connecting of various movements in NYC and beyond to the current climate crisis.
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).
In 2023 we hope to:
Since 2019, we have been listening to teachers, students, education advocates, environmental practitioners, organizers, and activists interested in promoting climate awareness to create a blended learning experience tailored to classroom needs.
As a result, we generated traditional curriculum tailored to New York State and Next Generation Science Standards for easy integration.
By 2022, we continued exploring action and justice-oriented education through non-traditional contexts via fostering intergenerational community hubs that center the experiences of frontline communities and grassroots organizers.
As a result, we created publicly accessible, politically conscious, organizer-centric learning spaces that continue to promote local, community-driven climate action and advocacy.