Community Member


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Founded in Pittsburgh, PA in 2008, Communitopia seeks to provide transformative climate change education that develops today’s climate leaders and advances equitable solutions. Believing that climate change is a generational justice issue that disproportionately affects young people, the group empowers youth to be a part of the solution. Communitopia’s programs build climate literacy and empower students, teachers and community members to take action on climate change with tangible results at the local level. Communitopia’s annual Pittsburgh Youth Climate Action Summit connects young people from around the region with one shared goal – climate action for all. The group also hosts monthly Pittsburgh Youth for Climate Action meetings, offers support for schools forming youth-led climate action teams and provides award-winning workshops that teach the simple science behind climate change, local impacts, and local solutions. Programs also target educators and school district administrators.  

Keynote Speaker Alexis Walker (center right) poses with several 2023 Pittsburgh Youth Climate Action Summit organizers. (Photo courtesy of Communitopia)

Once known as Citizens Climate Corps, the group changed its name to Communitopia in 2018 but has always retained its original focus on its core values of engaging the public and empowering everyone to help build a climate-friendly, energy-independent society through local action. In 2018, the primarily volunteer-run organization hired its first Youth Educator and began developing its youth-focused and school-centered programming. By 2019, the youth climate movement had taken the world by storm and the organization found itself in the unique and critical role of ensuring that local youth voices became part of the unfolding global story on climate change. Currently, Communitopia has grown its team to include an Executive Director, a Director of Education and a Director of School Programs. With the increase in staff capacity, the group aims to strategically meet the climate fight head-on. 

For more information:

Welcome to Our 2023 Full Circle Program Participants! – August 2023, SVP Pittsburgh

Communitopia’s Raina Rippel believes Pittsburgh students can be environmental action leaders – Next Pittsburgh, March 2023

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry is a journalist by profession, having worked as a daily newspaper reporter on both coasts and a contributing writer for several national magazines. She is a former Congressional press secretary and has worked as a communications manager and consultant for corporations and nonprofits.


Raina Rippel, Executive Director


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Erosion-Subsidence, Flooding, Heat

Environmental Justice Concerns

Air Pollution


Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education, Green Infrastructure, Nature-Based Solutions, Renewable Energy

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations