$20,121
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, September 26 2018 3:59 AM UTC +00:00.

Christi CooperBy Christi Cooper
First created
Christi CooperBy Christi Cooper
First created
$20,121
pledged of 30.000 $pledged of 30.000 $ goal
233
backers
6days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, September 26 2018 3:59 AM UTC +00:00.

About

We are raising funds for YOUTH v GOV, a feature documentary following the UPCOMING #TrialOfTheCentury, where 21 brave youth plaintiffs will take on the U.S. government in court over their constitutional rights to a healthy climate. 

THE TRIAL STARTS OCTOBER 29TH, 2018 and we need to be there to film! We've been shooting background footage with the plaintiffs for the past two years at home and in the courts. WE ARE ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT NOW so we can document this fast-approaching history-making trial.

Our Story

YOUTH v GOV is the story of America’s youth taking on the world’s most powerful government. In 2015, 21 young plaintiffs, ages 8 to 19, filed suit against the U.S. government asserting a willful violation of their constitutional rights. YOUTH v GOV follows this legal battle as the government takes extraordinary measures to get the case dismissed. Legal experts call this case the “most important lawsuit on the planet," but it's more than just a legal battle.

The heart of this film lies in the young plaintiffs’ personal stories as they find their footing as leaders and come to know their power as citizens in our democracy. YOUTH v GOV highlights and explores youth activism, government responsibility, our constitutional rights, and the importance of citizen democracy. It’s about the hope and action that our youngest generation is bringing to the forefront as they realize the power in their experiences and voices. Their story will resonate with audiences of all ages with the unexpected result that we will all be learning from our youngest how to be active, engaged democratic citizens once again.

Our Heroes

The 21 plaintiffs of Juliana v United State of America represent of a diverse sample of our American youth impacted by the climate crisis. They hail from 10 states, including Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Louisiana, and New York. They are activists, artists, musicians, and farmers. And they are each facing the effects of the climate crisis in their own unique ways. Here are a few of these brave youth...   

Kelsey Juliana is the named plaintiff on this landmark case: Juliana v the United States of America. No pressure. Kelsey is used to epic battles. She comes from a family of environmental activists who staunchly protected Pacific Northwest old-growth forests. But this is not her parents’ fight – Kelsey launched this lawsuit on her own.

Kelsey, 21 - Eugene, Oregon
Kelsey, 21 - Eugene, Oregon

Levi, 11, lives at the heart of climate change impacts on a barrier island in Florida. The sea turtles that Levi loves to watch are in decline, he can no longer swim in the sea due to toxins and bacteria, and sea level rise threatens to displace his family.

Levi, 11, Indialantic, Florida
Levi, 11, Indialantic, Florida

Through music and dance, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez empowers youth across the world to take part in environmental justice. His speeches at the UN and other notable venues have brought attention to the strength of the youth voice and their right to a sustainable future. Xiuhtezcatl’s deep roots in the Aztec culture are an important part of his identity and his spiritual connection to the Earth.

Xiuhtezcatl, 18 - Boulder, Colorado
Xiuhtezcatl, 18 - Boulder, Colorado

Jayden, 14, lives in a Louisiana community in the heart of the oil industry. As she works with her mother to resist the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, vast swaths of marshland continue to be devastated by tens of thousands of miles of oil pipelines. In 2016, her home flooded and as she said, “This morning I stepped out of my bed, and right into climate change.”

Jayden, 14 - Rayne, Louisiana
Jayden, 14 - Rayne, Louisiana

The legal team and plaintiffs have given us exclusive access to tell their story and Director Christi Cooper has worked with many of the plaintiffs since 2011, earning the trust of not only the youth and their families, but also the legal team. This is not just a lawsuit or a documentary, but also an extended family that reaches across the country.

Lead Counsel Julia Olsen with some of the plaintiffs
Lead Counsel Julia Olsen with some of the plaintiffs

Our Motivation 

Climate change is the greatest threat to human rights in the 21st century. It is causing the displacement of millions of people worldwide and climate-induced food insecurity fuels more conflicts every day. Not only is our youngest generation most vulnerable, they will be disproportionately affected, especially those from disenfranchised and underrepresented communities. But this is not the typical climate change warning film. 

YOUTH v GOV is about the hope the youngest generation brings and the power of their voice. Throughout history, some of the most meaningful social changes were sparked by the actions of young people - from children coal miners in the early 1900’s to the civil rights movement in the 1960's. Youth are once again rising up and demanding change, from gun reform to climate justice. 

Our Audience & Impact

YOUTH v GOV is aimed at empowering more young citizens to take action. We want this film and movement to reach as many youth across the country as possible and you can join us with your support. 

YOUTH v GOV will speak not only to the adults in the room, but also to the over 70 million young people in the US under 18, who will be this nation’s future leaders and primary voting population. We plan to screen YOUTH v GOV at film festivals, in theaters, and through a video-on-demand and/or broadcast platform to reach as many viewers as possible.

Through our community screenings and workshops, we will bring the film to youth-centered events, to the plaintiffs’ hometowns, and to disenfranchised communities disproportionately affected by the climate crisis. These community screenings will provide our most important viewers with information to take actions, as well as opportunities for trainings, connections, and participation in direct local action.

At the Environmental Youth Forum/DOCLands Film Festival, 2018
At the Environmental Youth Forum/DOCLands Film Festival, 2018

We are already leading climate justice workshops with youth around the country using existing YOUTH v GOV footage. We will be working with non-profit and social justice partners, such as Rock the Vote, to create as much on-the-ground impact as possible with YOUTH v GOV.

Our Budget 

Our budget includes four years (2016-2019) of documentary production to cover the plaintiff’s stories from filing the lawsuit, through the full trial starting October 29, 2019, up to post-trial interviews with the plaintiffs and key witnesses in early 2019. The budget also includes plus post-production taking place from Fall 2018 to Fall 2019.

Our minimum raise for this Kickstarter of $30,000 is set to get us to the trial only, and is just a small fraction of our full film budget. We are hoping to raise much more than that during this crowdfund and you can help us reach our stretch goals by sharing the project widely. 

We believe in the power of grassroots organizing and that every voice matters. That’s why your pledged support is appreciated and valuable whether you can contribute $5 or $1,000. We want to gather and inspire as many engaged supporters as possible for YOUTH v GOV and the stories of these incredible youth. 

*Note on Carbon-Friendly Filmmaking: Because we care deeply about the climate crisis and are cognizant of our impacts while filmmaking, we prefer to work with a small production crew to reduce costs and our carbon footprint. We are always actively working to find a balance between nimble, efficient, low-carbon production, while also making sure we cover key events to properly tell this story. We are also seeking additional funders to cover the cost of a full carbon offset for the production.

Our Film Team

Why YOU Should Join Us! 

YOUTH v GOV is an opportunity for you to support a positive story about the good guys. This is a story that will have real impact on the ground for the younger generations who are inheriting our mess.

Contributing to YOUTH v GOV is about more than giving money. It’s about participating and taking action. It’s about supporting our youth and supporting those most affected by the climate crisis. And it’s about standing up for our constitutional rights.

Come be a part of our extended family, and join us in doing our part for climate justice. YOUTH v GOV has become about so much more than a documentary; and the lawsuit is about so much more than a legal battle. Our future is a constitutional right. 

You can also follow us online via: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And sign up for our mailing list! We are also looking for ambassadors to help spread the word about this project. Please let us know if you’re interested! 

Our Kickstarter Rewards 

We’ve actively tried to balance our desire to thank you for your pledge with a reward, while also seeking to limit our carbon footprint on this project. The Kickstarter reward we’re mailing to every supporter who contributes $25 or more is a pocket copy of the United States Constitution. Our constitutional rights are at the heart of this film and paramount to every citizen. We want you all to have a copy in your pocket! 

We're also grateful to so many of the YOUTH v GOV plaintiffs who have offered to share their music, writing, and artwork with us so that we may offer it you as a Kickstarter reward. We are in awe every day at the talent, passion, and generosity of these youth. Please support these plaintiffs' creative passion and artworks by joining us at YOUTH v GOV FILM.

In the end, the greatest reward of YOUTH v GOV is the empowerment of these youth as they seek support for a national climate recovery plan based on the best available science.
In the end, the greatest reward of YOUTH v GOV is the empowerment of these youth as they seek support for a national climate recovery plan based on the best available science.

Last, But Not Least... 

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AND THESE INCREDIBLE YOUTH! 

Photos courtesy of Robin Loznak

Special thanks to Andrew Tumason with Woven Talon for generously allowing us to use his music for our Kickstarter campaign. 

Risks and challenges

Our biggest obstacles with completion is not whether we will complete the film, but when. Multiple federal administrations have tried to delay the case since 2015 and we now have a trial date for October 2018. We can’t account for extensions or changes to the trial start and end dates, but we are dedicated to telling the YOUTH v GOV story and the feature documentary will go into final post-production once the trial is completed.

Director Christi Cooper has been working with some of these youth plaintiffs since 2011, and has already invested more than two years and significant personal funding into YOUTH v GOV production. As an experienced and professional team, we are confident that we will be able to complete a meaningful and impactful film and deliver it to a wide audience.

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    JOIN THE MOVEMENT

    We want everyone to be able to participate in the making of YOUTH v GOV and join these incredible youth. For a minimum donation of $5, you'll receive our enduring gratitude as well as e-mails with exclusive updates about this story!

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    A U.S. CONSTITUTION IN EVERY POCKET

    Everyone who joins us and contributes $25 or more will receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team. We want everyone involved to embrace their constitutional rights to a healthy climate system. Plus, you'll receive our enduring gratitude as well as e-mails with exclusive updates about this story!

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    MUSIC BY PLAINTIFFS AJI AND XIUHTEZCATL

    Receive two digital music downloads recorded by YOUTH v GOV plaintiffs. Aji wrote these protest songs when he was 14 for use in his live activism. And Xiuhtezcatl has been making environmental hip hop since he was 12.

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Download Music Singles by Plaintiffs Aji and Xiuhtezcatl
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    PLAINTIFF XIUHTEZCATL'S NEW ALBUM

    Receive a digital copy of the upcoming album, Break Free, from YOUTH v GOV plaintiff and environmental hip hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez.
    Check out his music at: http://www.xiuhtezcatl.com/music

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Download Xiuhtezcatl's New Album
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    YOUTH V GOV FILM HAT OR BEANIE

    Your choice of a special edition trucker hat, corps hat, or beanie with the YOUTH V GOV FILM logo. Show your solidarity with these youth and this movement.

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM Trucker Hat, Corps Hat, or Beanie (Your Choice)
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    YOUTH v GOV FILM 12OZ MiiR Camp Cup

    Receive a special edition YOUTH V GOV FILM MiiR 12oz insulated VI Camp Cup. MiiR is a B-Corporation and gives "3% of revenue to organizations with sustainable methods of empowerment."

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM MiiR 12oz Camp Cup
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    SEND THE FILM TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

    For a $75 contribution, we'll send a DVD copy of the completed film to one of your U.S. Senators or your representative in Congress (your pick!), including a letter asking them to support the national climate recovery plan the plaintiffs seek.

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • DVD of YOUTH v GOV Sent To Your U.S. Senator or Representative
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    SIGNED BOOK BY PLAINTIFF XIUHTEZCATL

    Receive a signed copy of YOUTH v GOV plaintiff Xiuhtezcatl Martinez's book "We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet." You can read an excerpt here: https://www.xiuhtezcatl.com/my-story

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Signed Copy of Xiuhtezcatl's Book
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    YOUTH V GOV FILM HOODIE

    Receive a special edition cozy zip-up hoodie with the YOUTH V GOV FILM logo. Show your solidarity with these youth and this movement and stay warm at the same time!

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM Zip-Up Hoodie
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    YOUTH V GOV FILM COFFEE TABLE BOOK

    Receive a special edition YOUTH v GOV FILM coffee table book containing writings and artwork from the YOUTH v GOV plaintiffs as well as photos from the movement and production.

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM Coffee Table Book
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    YOUTH V GOV FILM SUPPORTER PACKAGE

    Receive a package of some of our favorite YOUTH v GOV FILM rewards:

    --A special edition YOUTH v GOV FILM coffee table book containing writings and artwork from the YOUTH v GOV plaintiffs as well as photos from the movement and production. (June 2019)

    --Receive a special edition YOUTH V GOV FILM MiiR 12oz insulated VI Camp Cup. (April 2019)

    --Your choice of a special edition trucker hat, corps hat, or beanie with the YOUTH V GOV FILM logo. (Mar 2019)

    We'll ALSO send a DVD copy of the completed film to one of your U.S. Senators or your Representative in Congress. (Dec 2019)

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM Coffee Table Book
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM MiiR 12oz Camp Cup
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM Trucker Hat, Corps Hat, or Beanie (Your Choice)
    • DVD of YOUTH v GOV Sent To Your U.S. Senator or Representative
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    HOST A PRIVATE SCREENING + BOOK

    Host a private screening of the film with your friends or colleagues ahead of the national release. Includes a discussion & action toolkit.

    Plus, you'll receive the special edition YOUTH v GOV FILM coffee table book containing writings and artwork from the YOUTH v GOV plaintiffs as well as photos from the movement and production (June 2019); a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Host a Private Screening of the Finished Film
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM Coffee Table Book
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    VIDEO CALL W/ THE DIRECTOR & A PLAINTIFF

    Join Director Christi Cooper and one of the YOUTH v GOV plaintiffs for a 30-minute one-on-one video call during the trial for a production update. (Most likely to occur in November/December 2018.)

    Plus, you'll receive the special edition YOUTH v GOV FILM coffee table book containing writings and artwork from the YOUTH v GOV plaintiffs as well as photos from the movement and production (June 2019); a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • 30-min Video Call with the Director and a Plaintiff
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM Coffee Table Book
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    HAND-THROWN CERAMIC BY PLAINTIFF JAIME

    For this generous donation, you will receive a one-of-a-kind hand-thrown ceramic created by YOUTH v GOV plaintiff Jaime specially for our YOUTH v GOV FILM Kickstarter. You can check out her work @jaimbertceramics on Instagram. LIMITED AVAILABILITY!

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Hand-thrown Ceramic by Jaime
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    A PAINTING OR SKETCH BY PLAINTIFF AVERY

    For this generous donation, you will receive a framed one-of-a-kind sketch or painting created by YOUTH v GOV plaintiff Avery specially for our YOUTH v GOV FILM Kickstarter. LIMITED AVAILABILITY!

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Framed Sketch or Painting by Avery
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    A SUNFLOWER PAINTING BY PLAINTIFF SOPHIE

    For this generous donation, you will receive a framed one-of-a-kind sunflower painting created by YOUTH v GOV plaintiff Sophie specially for our YOUTH v GOV FILM Kickstarter. LIMITED AVAILABILITY!

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Framed Painting by Sophie
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    MIXED-MEDIUM ARTWORK BY PLAINTIFF SAHARA

    For this generous donation, you will receive a framed one-of-a-kind mixed-medium work of art created by YOUTH v GOV plaintiff Sahara specially for our YOUTH v GOV FILM Kickstarter. LIMITED AVAILABILITY!

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team; e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Framed Work of Art by Sahara
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    LUNCH WITH THE FILM CREW

    Join our director and film team for an hour lunch in Eugene, Oregon during the trial. Most likely to occur in November/December 2018. *Lunch provided, but travel not included.

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Lunch With the Film Crew
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    FARM-TO-TABLE DINNER W/ PLAINTIFF JACOB

    You and a guest will enjoy a one-of-a-kind afternoon and evening on plaintiff Jacob's biodynamic, sustainable, and organic farm nestled on 600-acres in the scenic hills of Roseburg, Oregon. This experience includes a 4-course meal of farm-grown food, a tour through their biodynamic farm, and the opportunity to spend time with Jacob learning about their system of farming with over 400 fruit and nut trees, heritage farm animal breeds, sustainable timber operation, and tropical greenhouse. *We are offering 5 of these rewards for a total of 10 guests for this exclusive farm-to-table dinner and farm visit. Exact date to be determined for May or June 2019. Travel to the farm not included.*

    Plus, you'll receive a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Farm-to-Table Dinner with Jacob
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    JOIN THE CREW ON PRODUCTION

    Join our director and film crew for a half-day of production in Eugene, Oregon during the trial. Most likely to occur in November/December 2018. *Travel not included.

    Plus, you'll receive the special edition YOUTH v GOV FILM coffee table book containing writings and artwork from the YOUTH v GOV plaintiffs as well as photos from the movement and production (June 2019); a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Join Us for Half-day of Production
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM Coffee Table Book
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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    PRIVATE EVENT W/ DIRECTOR AND PLAINTIFF

    Host your own event for a private screening of the film anywhere in the U.S. before the release. Director Christi Cooper and a plaintiff will join you at the event! They'll introduce the film, follow with a Q&A, and stay to meet you and your guests! Great for an organization, fundraiser or private function.

    Plus, you'll receive the special edition YOUTH v GOV FILM coffee table book containing writings and artwork from the YOUTH v GOV plaintiffs as well as photos from the movement and production (June 2019); a pocket copy of the U.S. Constitution, published by the ACLU and personalized by our YOUTH v GOV team (Feb 2019); e-mails with exclusive updates about this story; and our enduring gratitude.

    Includes:
    • Private Film Event with the Director and a Plaintiff
    • YOUTH v GOV FILM Coffee Table Book
    • ACLU Pocket Constitution
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