I’m a 16-year-old environmental activist. I am the founder of a national youth climate action movement called Zero Hour. We are gearing up for the revolutionary Youth Climate Action Weekend this summer.
On July 19, 2018, youth will lobby our leaders on Capitol Hill for common sense climate action.
On July 20, 2018, youth will build art for the movement and build community among ourselves.
And on July 21, 2018, youth will march on Washington because #ThisIsZeroHour to act on climate. Join us.
The main goals of our movement are:
- To capture the national and international conversation on youth and climate change.
- Create a global sense of urgency around the climate crisis.
- Uplift the voices and stories of youth from frontline communities who have already been affected by climate change.
- Have our politicians pledge to stop taking money from the fossil fuel lobby. That is what we are lobbying for on July 19. (Because how are we going to pass meaningful legislation if our governments are owned by fossil fuel corporations?)
- Educate the public on exactly what needs to be done and when for us to survive the climate crisis.
- Empower youth and the general public to pressure their local leaders into taking radical and urgent climate action.
I work tirelessly – about 5 hours every single day on this movement, along with a team of high schoolers from all over the country. I sacrifice time with friends and family, sleep, and sometimes time that should have been spent studying for school for the movement. I am the definition of an overworked high school activist trying to make waves – and so are most of the youth on the team.
When people take a peek at my Google calendar, they often tell me to relax and slow down. They tell me to just do my homework and trust that the climate crisis will fix itself. But I know better. I work so hard, sacrifice so much, and am leading a revolutionary movement because #ThisIsZeroHour to act on climate change.
As a young person I have waited almost my whole life for the adults I thought were going to solve the climate crisis to do so… and so far, the condition of our planet has only gotten worse.
That’s why I am leading Generation Z in stepping up and calling an end to business as usual once and for all. I have had a vision of youth all over the US and the world marching for urgent climate action since the first Women’s March back in January 2017. At that time I was already a community organizer. I had been an organizer since I was 14, working tirelessly to fight for common sense climate solutions in my home state of Washington. However I was still fairly new to the organizing world and was nervous to take on the enormous task of starting a mass mobilization.
And so I suppressed that vision and continued to do local environmental organizing. Then, the summer of 2017 happened. I was at a month-long Political Speech and Communication course at Princeton University for high schoolers. It was the first time I had spent such a long time away from my family. I was on the other side of the country, surrounded by politically engaged high schoolers. By that time I had much more community organizing experience. That was also a summer of one natural disaster after another, and thick smog that covered Seattle thanks to wildfires in Canada.
That was when I finally decided to take the plunge. I had a social media friends, like Nadia Nazar, who was also willing to dive in. Madeline Tew and Zanagee Artis from the Princeton camp also joined and are now two core team leads. For a while, we did tons of visioning and brainstorming, struggling to find our footing. We brought on adult mentors, like Mrinalini Chakraborty, a Women’s March co-founder, and Laura Sanders from DC Local Ambassadors, who guided us in the right direction. We reached out to frontline communities who we knew had to be at the center of the movement, like some of the youth from the Standing Rock Tribe who famously let the #NODAPL fight and were excited by the idea.
Since then, we’ve expanded into a full fledged organization. We are not a movement that happened overnight. It took grueling hours every day of slow but gradual movement building and it still does. Our team of youth leaders and adult mentors are more than just a collective – we have become a movement family.
This vision depends on people like you willing to support and uplift youth by making this vision your own. We would love you to join our family and write the next chapter of our story together, as we plan our Youth Climate Action Weekend in Washington, D.C.
Here’s how you can support: