2020 in Review – Finding Our Best Selves

2020 Reception of Champions Climate Awards Celebration

Remarks by the Executive Director

Pamela S. Ellis, Ph.D.

Over the past year, a lot of planning and administration took place with Books Motivate Foundation involvement with community supporters to be able to sponsor climate environmental conservation community outreach, which includes our two successful film screenings, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, by the Climate Reality, and Racing Extinction by Oceanic Preservation Society. Both events where held in conjunction with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester, VA. Sponsoring partners also included members and friends from Citizens Climate Lobby, Sierra Club, NAACP, and the Audubon Society in mutual support of clean air, clean water, renewable energy, energy efficiency, food security, green jobs, and education with social justice. We know that through science, journalism, art, and climate policy advocacy, our presence is making a difference throughout the United States and abroad.

Even during an Anthropocene climate crisis, historic hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, and raging wildfires in Western states, and since January of this year, a COVID-19 evolving pandemic, and a 1619 American Education Democracy project, thrown into stark relief by social media and police misconduct shown in the disproportionate deaths of black, brown, and marginalized people, because of it all, and in spite of it all, many of us continue to sense an urgent need to secure a sustainable life that we believe is our unalienable right. The film, Unbreathable, created and funded by American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking in partnership with the American Lung Association released this year, highlighted by our event further validates our efforts to fight for universal social and environmental justice.

Yes, an interpretation of our statement of purpose bears repeating. Many of us continue to sense an urgent need to secure a just, environmentally sustainable life, for we believe this to be our unalienable right. A life without degradation, devaluation, and decimation for others, and for ourselves. This understanding gives us meaning and purpose.

We ask ourselves what life lessons are important? What does the current generation, generation Z, need to know (young people born between 1996 and 2015, who are currently between 5 and 24 years of age)? What will be the legacy provided by preceding generations for subsequent generations?

Together, as educators, parents, siblings, coworkers, friends, frenemies, and community members, we are passing a symbolic torch of wisdom, knowledge, and commitment to generation Z and future generations to come.

An admission that prior generations feel a sense of responsibility for those following what is now known as misdirected paths is good. Misdirected paths require “A New Normal.” Special thanks to well-known Futurist Keynote Author, Chet W. Sisk for providing persuasive thought leadership on this topic for the 2020 Reception of Champions Climate Fundraiser event. How many of us truly want a new normal? How many of us really want everything, to basically, remain the same, with little if any improvements, by our acknowledged or unacknowledged inactions? Subsequent generations have, and will be affected, either adversely or beneficially by our choices. Intergenerational, multiethnic, diverse shared leadership and responsibility is what defines excellence in education and in organizations as showcased by individual, and group, life achievements and community outcomes. 

The reality is that American civic and education priorities have been misplaced from its beginning. In an effort to Find our Best Selves, it is crucial for us as individuals, families, and communities, in the American homeland, and in the other homelands from which we originate, to achieve this personal and civic goal of self-transformation. Our one planet needs our commitment to cooperation as opposed to mutual extinction from willful choices of annihilation.

We need a profound acknowledgement, or metanoia, that we cannot do everything ourselves. We cannot be everywhere ourselves. We need shared leadership across every demographic cross-section. In order to win climate sustainability, our mindset must be, as much as possible, how can I help people who I know personally, and those I don’t know everywhere, to achieve success in their quest for self-determination responsibly within a shared Earth understanding. Only then, will we have a chance for individual survival and a sustainable shared existence.

From this foundation of mission, we celebrate the 2020 Reception of Champions Climate Awards program. We are showcasing and expanding upon our actions by highlighting our signature program, the phenomenal National Climate Student Essay Competition, wherein high school students from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are invited to submit climate essays to U.S. newspapers and for adjudication for awards with Books Motivate Foundation annually over the next decade.

The recipient of the 2020 National Climate Student Essayist Award

Stella Carman, Pullman High School, Pullman, WA


The recipient of the 2020 National Climate Teacher Award

Joanna Brown, Pullman High School. Pullman, WA

The recipient of the 2020 Books Motivate Volunteer Award

Nicole Maddern, Martinsburg, WV

Climate Award Presentations

 Our award winners each received monetary awards from the Books Motivate Foundation organization.

Thank you to all who helped make the 2020 Reception of Champions Climate Fundraiser magnanimous.

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Thank you for continuing this work with our organization on behalf of Our Common Home, An Oasis in Space, Our Mother Earth, throughout 2020. We look forward to mutually supportive climate opportunities over the next year and decade with you, and for you.

“Secret Sauce” Climate Virtual Event – Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now!

2020 Reception of Champions Event Tickets

Mother Earth
Paintress, Josephine Wall

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Donation Total: $20


2020 National Climate Student Competition launched by Books Motivate Foundation

The floodgates for innovative thinking and evidence-based solutions among high school students from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are open. Students are invited to submit a climate science essay that concerns their home state before the Saturday, May 30 deadline for the 2020 National Climate Student Competition.

In 2019, the first state-by-state national student climate essay competition in the United States was launched by Books Motivate Foundation, a nonprofit organization. The winning essayist, Jasmine DeMaria had her work showcased at the 2019 Breakfast of Champions Student Awards event held during the National Book Festival weekend in Washington, D.C. (To view Jasmine DeMaria’s winning essay visit the weblink here.)

Student-directed learning through essay writing place the climate responsibility in the hands of the next generation sooner. This incentive-based program with student monetary prize winners and essay publication as primary targeted goals highlights the learning/reward process. Books Motivate Foundation efforts circumvent the mixed messages that originate within the political arena, and help provide reference pathways for students entering college and career fields.

A professional marketing campaign and public involvement reach high school science teachers, students, and parents directly, and through their associations. A network of supporters collaborates with Dr. Pamela Ellis, Books Motivate Foundation executive director. Ellis stated, “Our deep empathy for fellow citizens in the United States, and also globally, compels us to ‘be a part of the solution, and not the problem’ by leading discussions and actions on climate science. This program provides community education in an effort to prevent climate catastrophes, which result in human and environmental losses.” For student registration, sponsor, and donor involvement opportunities, visit the website, Booksmotivate.org, email, info@booksmotivate.org, or call (304) 404-4150 for additional information.

2020 National Climate Program 🥇

Program Overview

U.S. State and Federal Senate and House Representative members are invited to recognize 2020 Climate Student Essayist winners from each state during the annual keynote fundraiser event for U.S. student climate publication awards.

2020 National Climate Program Timeline

February 2020

  • 2020 National Climate Student Competition Program press release is distributed to national science agencies, high school science teacher associations, student and parent organizations, environmental associations, corporate leaders, and media outlets.

March 2020

  • Personal invitations are provided for participation to U.S. State and Federal Senate and House Representative members.

April 2020

  • Students submit climate op-ed essays to their local or state newspapers for publication.

May 2020

  • Student op-ed and climate essay submissions are received by Books Motivate Foundation for adjudication review by a diverse panel of scientific and policy community leaders.

July 2020

  • National student climate essay winners are announced for press publication. The public is invited to attend the 2020 Breakfast of Champions Awards Event on Saturday, August 29, 2020.

2020 Reception of Champions Program

Celebrate Student Climate Publications

Date: Saturday, August 29, 2020


Meet friends and help protect planet Earth with the purchase of RACING EXTINCTION movie screening tickets for Monday, January 6, 2020 at 7 PM at the Winchester, VA, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Admission includes special introduction plus discussion afterwards. A portion of ticket sales and a percentage of food and beverage sales benefits the Books Motivate student climate essayists program!

Ticket Purchases: https://drafthouse.com/winchester/show/racing-extinction-benefit-screening-presented-by-books-motivate-foundation-

More ways to give:

Your support makes a world of difference…Thank you!

End of 2019 Appeal ❄️

Dear Community Advocates,

For many of us, the research of climate science and change is a most pressing concern. This year, Books Motivate Foundation working with leading climate scientists, students, teachers, parents, and community leaders used our individual and collective voices to circumvent mixed climate messages. Join in our environmental education cause to advance outstanding student essay writing for 2020 publication. Visit our Students and Donate pages for additional information.

Don’t forget holiday giving. Make purchase savings with igive.com for family, friends, and co-workers in support of the 2020 National Climate Outreach Sprint to Thrive Program! Let us help you achieve a loud and clear speaking voice to the next generation with corporate and governmental policy makers in 2019 and throughout the New Year 2020. So many look forward to your continued civic leadership!

We, also, look forward to meeting with you prior to, or during, our planning and execution of exciting upcoming events. As a first-time donor, or as a previous supporter, your continued volunteerism and financial contributions make a tremendous difference!

Your tax-deductible charitable donation by the December 31, 2019 deadline to Books Motivate Foundation, a 501(c)(3) and TechSoup organization, ensures our community’s best efforts to make significant awards to participating students.

I believe that you want to be “In” on this magnanimous annual endeavor!

With Gratitude and Commitment,

Dr. Pamela Ellis

Keynote Breakfast of Champions Invitation

Location: Hyatt Place, Washington, DC/U.S. Capitol, Date: Saturday, August 31, 2019, Time: 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM, during the National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Be inspired by a festival of books, and champion by leading, and lending support to the 2019 Books Motivate National Climate Outreach Program in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, August 31, 2019 with Keynote Breakfast of Champions Presentation by Dr. Patrick Campbell, Certified Consulting Meteorologist, American Meteorological Society, George Mason University, ARL/NOAA Affiliate on, Tipping points in the climate system: Global and national concerns for U.S. citizens and policymakers.

Join us later in the evening for the Common Ground Dinner Reception at 7:15 p.m. Reserve seating free (buy appetizers, meals, drinks separately).

Reserve tickets below before the Monday, August 26 catering deadline. If at all possible, we want to meet with you, family, and friends there!

A Night to Remember ❤️

Like Al Gore, some of us truly believe that we can handle any Inconvenient Truths after being energized by conversations, planning, and the film. With so many wonderful people in attendance for this special evening, we are filled with gratitude everyone! Look for upcoming program and event information with next steps for engagements. Special thanks to Dr. Nick Snow for service beyond the call of duty representing Citizens’ Climate Lobby efforts locally, and nationwide.