On April 29, an unprecedented coalition of movements will descend on the streets of Washington, D.C., to march for climate, jobs, and justice. The People’s Climate March will bring together indigenous people leading the fights against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, labor unions, environmental and racial justice groups, farmers, student divestment campaigners, and more.
Young people have a unique role to play in this mobilization. We are the climate change generation, inheriting an increasingly unstable climate, economic and racial inequality, and a dangerously corrupt political system. We look around and see hard-won protections like the Clean Power Plan and Paris Agreement discarded in the name of deregulation. From blatant attacks on indigenous peoples to undercutting essential protections for clean water and air, the Trump administration is sacrificing our communities for the sake of profit and political gain for the wealthy few — a casual dismissal of our basic right to a livable future.
Student campaigns for climate justice and fossil fuel divestment in recent years have invigorated a generation of activists. We’ve learned how to use creative tactics, run strategic mobilizations and leverage real power on our campuses and in our communities. Now it’s time to take the youth climate movement to the next level. We’re ready to do everything it takes to fight for a stable climate and clean energy economy that puts people ahead of corporate profits: sit-in to pressure campus decision-makers and elected officials, walk out to make our demands clear, and stand up for our futures.
The day before the People’s Climate March, students and young people are coming together for a historic Youth Convening. This gathering will train young people in key organizing, storytelling, and leadership skills, as well as build relationships with leaders across movements for justice and strategize about what comes next.