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Project Drawdown


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Social Studies, Civics, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Video, 11 minutes, 8 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - South

Kendrick Kelsey: Circular Economy Is Caring for People & Planet

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  • This video introduces Atlanta resident Kendrick Kelsey, a Reuse Center Associate at the Lifecycle Building Center, who discusses his life story and the importance of individual effort regarding climate solutions.
  • Students will learn about and discuss non-profit reuse centers and how they help our planet and communities, the role of racism and inequity in the fight against climate change, and sources of inspiration to reach your potential. 
Teaching Tips


  • Family responsibility is important to the interviewee, and his narrative presents a positive story of respecting one's family members and being mindful of one's attitude so that a positive family unit can continue.
  • The interviewee stresses personal responsibility toward the environment, and the video provides an example of what each student can do to assist in cleaning up our planet.
  • The resource provides discussion questions to facilitate a deeper connection to the content in the video.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The interviewee proudly recounts his time in the military service so teachers can prepare for student questions and comments about life in the military.
  • Racism is a prominent topic in the video in both the historical sense and still happening today, especially regarding police, so teachers may wish to have a brief class discussion about racism after the video ends.
  • The video discusses climate grief and the interviewee's opinion that one must continue to help the environment. 


  • The interviewee discusses his life story so English teachers can have students watch the video and then create autobiographies.
  • The goals of the Lifecycle Building Center are to help the community and keep items out of landfills, so civics teachers can have students watch the video and then research local landfills and how to create more public awareness of recycling and upcycling. 
  • The resource includes several links to action steps, guides, and social connections so teachers can have students work in small groups to collect information and then create a presentation for the class.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Project Drawdown is a short documentary film that chronicles the life and work of Kendrick Kelsey, an Air Force veteran working to reuse building materials and keep them out of landfills. The personal interview highlights Kendrick’s resilience to the racism he faced growing up in Atlanta and his focus on creating a healthier world for his daughter. The interview focuses on how people can personally take action to heal their community and the planet, and the included discussion questions tackle both justice and environmental issues. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with peers on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
      • SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, qualitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Civics, Government, and Human Rights
      • 6.1.12.CivicsDP.13.a: Analyze the effectiveness of national legislation, policies, and Supreme Court decisions in promoting civil liberties and equal opportunities (i.e., the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Equal Rights Amendment, Title VII, Title IX, Affirmative Action, Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade).
  • Career Readiness, Life Literacies, & Key Skills
    • Career Awareness, Exploration, Preparation, and Training
      • 9.2.12.CAP.4: Evaluate different careers and develop various plans (e.g., costs of public, private, training schools) and timetables for achieving them, including educational/training requirements, costs, loans, and debt repayment.
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