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Leadership
Tom's of Maine Begins 2nd Annual Search for Next Generation of Climate-Justice Changemakers

The Tom's of Maine Incubator program was created to resource the next generation of leaders from underrepresented communities who are driving environmental solutions.

Tom's of Maine has put out a call for the second annual cohort in its Tom's of Maine Incubator program, which is designed to resource the next generation of leaders from underrepresented communities who are driving environmental solutions. The program provides funding, mentorship, amplification and support to early-career changemakers to empower them to further the company’s mission to Do Good. For Real.

Global communities are experiencing the effects of climate change today with record-high temperatures and devastating storms and wildfires. Unfortunately, many of the communities most severely impacted are underserved and underrepresented in the climate movement. These voices most affected by climate change are rarely reflected or engaged in finding solutions.

Tom's of Maine started with a small $5,000 loan and a big dream; and now, the brand wants to pay it by investing in underrepresented leaders to help them scale solutions that will benefit all people. The Tom's of Maine Incubator program provides $20,000 in funding to each of five Incubator Members to support their work; as well as access to expert mentors, opportunities to collaborate in person and virtually, and support from the brand to amplify their message and engagement with their important work.

"We're proud to announce the second year of our Incubator program and reach additional underrepresented voices in the climate movement," said Michelle Waring, Steward for Sustainability and Everyday Good at Tom's of Maine. "Improving representation in the climate movement involves several steps, and our Incubator program is uniquely positioned to address these challenges through investment, mentorship and education. The Tom's of Maine Incubator provides early-career talent with various opportunities for growth and community building."

In 2022, Tom's of Maine introduced the Incubator program to resource the next generation of leaders from underrepresented communities. The program awarded $100,000 to five twentysomething changemakers driving engagement in various aspects of climate justice:

The 2023-2024 cohort will receive mentorship from an esteemed handful of prominent leaders within the climate movement who are working across sectors to accelerate environmental solutions:

  • CJ Goulding, co-founder of Boyz N The Wood — a nonprofit dedicated to helping Black men connect to the outdoors and build brotherhood, positive masculinity and mental health.
  • Ziad Ahmed, CEO of JUV Consulting — purpose-driven Generation Z consultancy that helps clients reach young people.
  • Maya Penn, founder of Maya's Ideas — an award-winning slow fashion brand creating sustainable, artisan crafted, accessories and clothing made from organic, recycled, and vintage materials.

  • Nalleli Cobo, co-founder of the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition and People Not Pozos (People Not Oil Wells) — a grassroots campaign dedicated to the prioritization of people over corporate profits in the pursuit of a healthy living environment

  • Dillon Bernard, Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Team DB — a creative collective supporting the digital communications and cultural strategy needs of purpose-driven brands, organizations, and creators who ignite movements.

To celebrate the launch of this year's program, Tom's of Maine has also partnered with actor and climate change advocate Arsema Thomas.

"It's an honor to work with Tom's of Maine to help identify and amplify underrepresented voices through the Incubator program," Thomas said. "I believe climate change and equity are not separate issues but are deeply interconnected; and addressing one requires considering the other. The Incubator program provides a seat at the table for many who have potentially never been invited — and I'm proud to use my platform to shed light to this issue."

The Tom's of Maine Incubator application will be open for four weeks, starting Tuesday, September 19, 2023; and closing on Sunday, October 15, 2023. The five final Tom's of Maine Incubator recipients will be publicly announced in January 2024.

Learn more about the Incubator program and how to apply to the 2023-2024 cohort at www.tomsofmaineincubator.com.

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