Maria Talero

Roles at NAAEE:

CCC Fellow

Climate Courage Education and Organizing

Talero believes the key to unlocking hearts and minds on climate change lies in our highly social brains, in the way that we form our views by observing the behavior and values of others.
In 2009, she transitioned from a full-time academic appointment to part-time teaching and launched herself as a freelance climate change educator in the Denver, CO community. Since then, she has been working with youth and adult community leaders from Africa and the Caribbean, as well as other local Colorado non-profits and churches, to present interactive Climate Courage Workshops based on principles drawn from her research in an emerging sub-field within cognitive science called "enactive cognition."
Maria's Climate Courage Workshops establish a mood in which scientific evidence can be heard from a place of social connectedness, strength and courage. She takes great care to build each step towards taking action, helping participants to absorb a richly detailed picture of how others like themselves are taking action, and precisely how they can get involved.

Fellowship Project

With each workshop, Maria's conviction grows that being an effective climate change educator means that she must also be a community organizer. She has created a small-group organizing format called Climate Courage Resilience Circles (CCRCs). CCRCs are small-group networks that increase members' psychological and emotional resilience in the face of climate change while also increasing their effectiveness on climate change action. Her target audiences are people who are already taking action to make the world a better place and who want to expand their efforts to address climate change. In Colorado, this group includes youth leaders, students, teachers, religious and spiritual communities, activists, nonprofit staff, urban agriculturists, energy efficiency professionals, and scientists.
Maria's long-term goal is to establish thriving Climate Courage Resilience Circles throughout the Front Range area of Colorado, which serve as community hubs for learning, mutual aid and social action on climate change. Cultivating and nurturing these CCRCs will expand the grassroots "people power" of the climate change movement, while reducing feelings of isolation and stress for CCRC members by helping them to realize their collective capacity to take local action on climate change.
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