In mid-March, the Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) celebrated its 30th anniversary with a massive gala in Atlanta, and it gave actor Jane Fonda its Exemplar award; honored Bill Nye (yup, the Science Guy) with the Superhero for the Earth Award; and presented White House Advisor Jerome Foster II with the Young Hero for the Earth Award.
“This is such a great honor,” Fonda said in a statement. “I was privy to see all of this come together over the years and watch the Captain Planet animated series educate so many kids around the world. Captain Planet’s slogan is ‘The Power is Yours’, but the one that I like the most is ‘By Your Powers Combined’ because of the climate crisis. We have to act together.”
We’ll come back to Fonda, but yeah, the Atlanta-based public charity has spent the past three decades raising awareness for climate-related and environmental issues, and empowering people between the ages of 10 and 23 to get involved in their own communities through initiatives like Project Giving Gardens and the Planeteer Alliance.
Before you ask: yes, the Foundation was inspired by — and is directly connected to — Captain Planet and the Planeteers, every earth-loving 90s kid’s fave cartoon. CPF was co-founded by Jane Fonda’s ex-husband, broadcast mogul Ted Turner, and the show’s executive producer Barbara Pyle. (According to the CPF website, a percentage of the cartoon’s merch revenue is used to support the Foundation’s efforts.)
“It was a brilliant concept starring ordinary teens from five continents, making it about a global movement and a diverse set of friends who saw things that needed fixing in their school or community” CPF executive director Leesa Carter told the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. “The show asked [young viewers] to raise their hand and take action when they saw something. And they responded by becoming part of the solution.”
It seems to have worked too: since 1992, over 1.6 million kids in 50 states and 90 countries have taken part in projects and programs organized by CPF. It turns out, maybe earth’s greatest champion was A BUNCH OF KIDS all along.
We asked about Captain Planet in this week’s Twitch quiz. Catch it here:
Featured image courtesy of: Cartoon Network