Climate Action Families


About Us

Land Acknowledgement

We currently work from the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, many tribes of various Coast Salish People, past and present, and we honor with gratitude and care the land itself and this land’s original people. 

Climate Action Families shows up for indigenous causes and makes a regular donation to a local indigenous charity. We encourage and support all climate justice participants who are not indigenous themselves to learn about, engage with, and help restore power to their local indigenous neighbors.

Our History

Our Beginnings

Climate Action Families started out as Climate Change for Families in 2013, hosting the Washington chapter of Plant for the Planet. Our community trained over 600 youth in climate justice, and participated in countless actions. Lessons learned brought us to developing this movement, knowing we must move quickly, and with care, into a new world.

Our Accomplishments

We always did more than plant trees. Over the last decade we trained over 600 youth in climate justice  through our Climate Justice Ambassador Academies. Through the trainings and support of adult mentors, our youth have gone on to: 


  • Sue our state and federal governments for not protecting their future through the monumental Youth v. Gov. lawsuits coordinated by Our Children’s Trust 
  • Be featured in Saving My Tomorrow, a six-part HBO documentary series
  • Give TED talks that have been viewed by thousands
  • Testify before the House Climate Crisis Committee and a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee
  • Meet with WA State Governor Inslee – and many other lawmakers – to promote climate recovery. 
  • Co-found Zero Hour, a national climate and environmental justice group led by teenagers and young adults. Co-founder Jamie Margolin is a nationally-recognized youth voice for climate justice.
  • Join the Global Climate Strike movement, organizing youth strikes and walkouts including a massive march in 2019 in Seattle with over 10,000 people.

C·R·E·A·T·E Model

In the pandemic years we continued meeting on Zoom with varying frequency depending on the campaigns we were working on, but still trying to provide some consistency through yet another crisis. During this time we distilled our learnings into the CREATE model by which we are now operating. 

CAF signs and clipboardsC·R·E·A·T·E is how we conceptualize our work.


Expanding Beyond Seattle

Our vision for the future is to build a national network of family and youth organizations working on climate.

We are looking for partners and funders to help this essential movement.

Join us and Donate

Mission and Vision



We empower an intergenerational climate justice movement of youth, families, and friends building collective power to protect the people and planet we love at the speed and scale of transformation that climate science and justice require.



Our World Vision

We envision a future where communities flourish in harmony with the natural world, united by a shared sense of purpose, compassion, and reverence for the planet and each other. Diversity and creativity are celebrated, the inherent worth of every individual is recognized, and people work together in continually co-creating a world that is just, regenerative, and abundant for all.



Our Organizational Vision

We see our organization supporting the growth of a deeply connected, joyous, and powerful intergenerational climate justice movement in which we all belong, feel effective, and have the resources and support to experiment, explore, and build on our collective success. We have the freedom to transform and learn better ways to use our gifts, yet we know we deeply belong and can always find support and aligned spirits. We work strategically and quickly to interfere with activities that are responsible for destabilizing the climate and generating injustices, and we iteratively build towards a more just and intentional world. We continually reconnect with each other and this rare, irreplaceable planet and era of life.


Board of Directors

Grace photo

Grace Stahre (she/her), Board President

I've worn many hats on my journey to making a meaningful contribution to the world. From technology to video and film production, my passion has always been rooted in climate and environmental justice. Throughout my life I've had the privilege of organizing small groups, volunteering, and contributing to various organizations aligned with climate justice. Since 2015 my children and I been active members of Climate Action Families (CAF), working together in an intergenerational climate justice space that understands the gravity, urgency, and opportunities in the path before us. As a member of the 350 Seattle Leadership Team since 2019, I've helped align our organizations on the ever-changing landscape of grassroots climate engagement, always learning and adjusting our strategy. My heart lies in making a positive impact on the climate crisis, supporting the next generation in developing resilience while cultivating a sense of awe and deep connection to the planet and each other.

Dongmei photo

Dongmei Chen, Board Treasurer

Dongmei worked in publishing from 2010 to 2017. She was a Chinese editor, and treasurer for the literary translation organization Paper Republic. Climate became one of her passions when she moved to Seattle and became a mother in 2018. Now she works in the data field, and hopes to apply her new skills to climate-related work. I believe that youth and families are deeply affected by the climate crisis, resulting in feelings of grief, anxiety, and anger. I am convinced that there is significant potential to empower youths and families by offering them resources and tools to transform these emotions into powerful drivers for change.

sue lenander photo

Sue Lenander (she/her), Board Secretary

Sue is co-founder, former Board President and current Board Secretary of Climate Action Families. Trained with Vice President Al Gore in 2015, she became a Climate Reality speaker and gives climate justice presentations at churches, community organizations, hospitals and schools. Her BA in child development helped in the role of Youth Program Coordinator for Seattle Plant for the Planet. She volunteers with 350 Seattle as a former Board and Leadership Team member and a proud Kayaktivist. Sue trained with Joanna Macy to facilitate Work that Reconnects climate grief groups to honor and process our pain for the Earth. Sue recently retired from Seattle Children's Hospital as a Medical Assistant, giving her extra time to support CAF's mission. As a parent, Sue invites other parents and grandparents to identify as a Climate Action family and CAF will give you community, education, fun and support. Together, we can mitigate the effects and progression of this crisis. It's a privilege to be alive on this magic planet, with all the diverse sentient beings, and we humans have the honor to protect it, together.

Dr. Heather Price speaking at a climate strike, in front of a lake in Kirkland, WA in 2019. She's wearing a dress that has blue and white stripes at the top, and orange and red strips at the bottom, representing the change in climate over the last century.

Heather Price, Board Member

Heather is a parent, climate scientist, climate justice activist, chemistry professor and researcher in Seattle, Washington. She has a PhD in Chemistry and conducted her post-doctoral atmospheric chemistry research with the University of Washington Program on Climate Change. Her current National Science Foundation research project, Climate Justice in Undergraduate STEM Incorporating Civic Engagement (C-JUSTICE), focuses on improving undergraduate STEM education through the integration of climate justice, equity, and civic engagement across the humanities, arts, and STEM curriculum. I believe in the CAF mission because it helps families and young people address fossil fueled climate change in ways that that are positive, fun, builds community and helps folks hold the emotions that come with taking climate action all while living during this era of a shifting climate.

Rusty West, Board Member

Rusty West is an active member of our Board of Directors. He served previously as Secretary of the Board for 10 years, since our beginning in 2013 until May 2023. Rusty has worked tirelessly with Climate Action Families Seattle (and our previous program, Plant for the Planet Seattle) as Secretary, Monthly Meeting Youth Program Coordinator, Outdoor Program Coordinator, Attendance & Photo record keeper in preparation of our annual January “Court of Honor, Historian, "Registrar" at Academies, “Youth 5-Year Service Award” coordinator, and many other roles since 2013. Rusty is a retired schoolteacher (worked with "at risk youth" in 2nd grade through college levels levels) for many years and has been teaching snow skiing and snowboarding for decades. He works part time currently at Stevens Pass Ski School. Rusty was a Boy Scout in the 1960's and then as an adult was a Scoutmaster for 2 different Boy Scout Troops in the 1970's and 1980's. He was also a "Big Brother" in Big Brothers - Big Sisters of King County from 2003 to 2012. Rusty believes in the Climate Action Families mission because he believes our youth have the moral high ground and the most vested interest in promoting climate recovery in the climate crisis of today.


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