Encore: The Hip Hop Caucus, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., The Solutions Project, The Climate Reforestation Campaign!

by | May 9, 2023 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

The Hip Hop Caucus, plus Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., The Solutions Project, and The Climate Reforestation Campaign!



The Hip Hop Caucus is a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization that connects the Hip Hop community to the civic process of building power and creating positive change.  It’s a movement created in 2004 by four organizations all working to get people out to vote:

  • Hip Hop Summit Action Network
  • Sean Diddy Comb’s (“Vote Or Die!”)
  • Jay Z’s “Voice Your Choice”
  • AFL-CIO’s “Hip Hop Voices”

Currently, the hiphop Caucus is approaching their work on climate from the perspective of BIPOC communities, communities where pollution and climate impacts are life and death issues. In particular, its focus is on climate change communications via its platform, “Think 100%”, which has four main areas of engagement:

  • Podcasts
  • Films
  • Music
  • Activism

The People’s Climate Music features artists such as Common, NE-YO, Elle Varner, Raheem Devaughn, Antonique Smith, Jeremih, SEWna REH LAY, Sonna Rele , and Crystal Waters.

Why does the HipHop Caucus matter to us? EVERYONE taking action to combat climate change matters to us!  If we can benefit from great music as a result, even better!!  

DEEPER DIVE: Hip Hop CaucusNew Hope,  Yahoo NewsObama White House Archives


Community activist Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr., is both a U.S. Air Force veteran and a Howard University trained minister. The Louisiana born and bred Rev. Yearwood believes  those who grew up listening to hip hop are a unique generation, and are therefore uniquely able to influence change.

In that vein, he collaborated with Sean P. Diddy Combs in 2004 to launch “Vote or Die.” That project brought together elements of the hip hop community and grassroots voting work. And it was successful. That campaign helped bring 21 million voters to the polls for the 2004 presidential election. According to the Washington Post, the highest voter turnout for that age group since 1972,

Buoyed by the success of Vote or Die,  Rev. Yearwood founded the Hip Hop Caucus. It started out as an organization focused on rallying political will around getting young people out to vote. But in 2005, he shifted focus to Louisiana. There he created the Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign, advocating for climate change victims of Hurricane Katrina in his home state. 

True to his ministerial roots, Rev. Yearwood sees the environmental argument for Yearwood as a moral one. Just as slavery is immoral, so too is America’s dependency on fossil fuels, particularly as the dependency on it severely impacts communities of color two ways–lack of agency as well as deleterious health effects. Rev. Yearwood’s mission is to rectify those issues.

In 2018, he helped launch Think 100%, Hip Hop Caucus’ award-winning climate communications and activism platform. He has also joined others in issuing a call for the US to reach net zero by 2025. Why does Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. matter to us? Says Yearwood, “if the climate movement does not become more inclusive, the goal of transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy will not happen.”

DEEPER DIVE: Hip Hop CaucusNew Hope,  Yahoo NewsObama White House Archives



A lot of climate change websites are beautiful yet dour. You may know what I mean—beautiful photos of animals and plants and forests and rivers and oceans and byways—all the things we’ll lose/are losing if we let the pollution blanket we created continue to overheat the Earth and cause pain and suffering to us, our friends and our family…forever.

Not the Solutions Project, though. That website leaves you with the impression that fighting climate change ain’t nothin’ but a party! I love it. Why? Because fighting climate change, adapting, mitigating, creating resiliency will be hard. So better to treat it like a party than a funeral, right?

That’s not the only way The Solutions Project is different. According to its website, “Our collective future depends on the work of many already solving problems they face in their own communities…Our commitment to Black, Indigenous and other communities of color, along with a pledge to elevate women in leadership doesn’t stop with grantee support. We also ensure they have a seat at the table, and the materials to build their own tables — as they are the past, present and future of our movements.”

The Solutions Project was founded in 2013 by Mark Jacobsen and Mark Ruffalo. Its CEO and president is Gloria Walton, an NAACP-LA Empowerment Award winner and described as one of the 100 power players in philanthropy. Just a few months after taking on the roles of CEO and president, Walton negotiated a $43 million dollar, unrestricted gift from the Bezos Earth Fund.

Since 2015, The Solutions Project has invested over $8.5 million dollars across 33 states to 128 grantees. Some of those grantees include the Alliance for a Green Economy, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network Action, Blacks in Green and the Resilience Force.

DEEPER DIVE: The Solutions Project, Mark Ruffalo, Gloria Walton



We’re making progress with our Climate Champions 50/100 reforestation campaign, so we’re keeping it going!


Thank you to the listeners of The Climate Daily who donated to The Climate Champions 50/100 campaign! There’s still work to do to get us to 10,000 trees. That’s why we’re extending the campaign through May to give more of you the chance to become climate champions. What’s a climate champion, you ask? A climate champion proves that a small group of people can make a massive impact on the planet in a short amount of time.  

How? Our company, The Climate, is partnering with over 30 international tree-planting organizations–ALONG WITH our climate champions– to re-plant, and regrow forests all over the world, by planting ten thousand trees at a time. Why? Because science says the best way to combat climate change is to restore nature. And the fastest way to restore nature is to plant and grow a trillion trees by 2030, and the fastest way to do that is to plant ten thousand trees at a time. So, we’re looking for folks to donate $50 or $100 one time, to help us plant 10,000 trees at a time, in one of seven regions around the planet.

(Which our tree planting partners will do. They’re the tree-planting professionals.) 

Please visit www.TheClimate.org, and at the top of the page, click on the words, “Climate Champions.” Then click on the donate button and join our team of climate champions today. Again, visit TheClimate.org, and at the top of the page, click on the words, “Climate Champions.” Click on the donate button and join our team of climate champions today. And if you want to start your own team of climate champions, reach out to us at info@ We’ll help you put together your own small group of climate champions to make a massive impact on the planet in a short amount of time. 

(Planting 10 thousand trees–a 20-acre forest!) 

Wouldn’t it be great to be the change you want to see in the world? Become part of something special. Become a climate champion.  Thank you!!

DEEPER DIVE: 50/100 Campaign, Trillion Tree Project