A new environmental coalition called the Buffalo Rebellion is hosting its first-ever Iowa event over Earth Day weekend.

The Climate Justice Summit opens tonight in Des Moines and will focus on training attendees on how to take climate action with a focus on racial injustice. Jake Grobe  is with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, one of the participating organizations.

Grobe says, “Our goal is to train up 100 grassroots leaders from across Iowa who have the most at stake and the most to gain from a really strong and thriving statewide climate justice movement.” Sikowis Nobiss is the director of Great Plains Action Society, another group in the coalition. She says it’s important to utilize intersectionality to better Iowa’s climate.

Nobiss says, “A lot of us are working in our silos to approach this climate emergency but unfortunately, working that way isn’t getting us the numbers and the impact we need.”

The summit includes an Earth Day rally on Friday in downtown Des Moines that is open to the public. Organizers say they’ll take what’s discussed during the four-day summit and use that information to drive how the coalition will move forward.

(By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio)