This is a guest post by Kayla Favors, a student in Atlanta and Power Shift 2013 attendee
I wasn’t sure what to think as I walked up to the Southface green building in my hometown of Atlanta on October 4, 2013. I was there to attend a Youth Action Lab. We were coming together to prepare ourselves -- a group of Atlanta students -- for the 2013 Power Shift Conference in Pittsburgh. With the help of our facilitators, Rosa and Amber, we realized the power we have as youth and how we can use that power to fight climate change.
We didn’t know each other at first, but we had a round of introductions and then we played a quick game to select partners for the first activity. With our partners, we brainstormed why we, as teens, can (and sometimes can’t) be active in making positive change in our communities. Sharing with just one person gave me a chance to speak up from my own perspective. When we came back together to share, we realized that as a diverse group of young people (artists, storytellers, moviemakers, writers, artists and activists), we have the power to make a real difference in our world, today.
Next, we brushed up on our climate knowledge. Our leaders handed out strips of paper with climate science facts. Using these strips, we quizzed each other to test our understanding of climate change. Armed with our knowledge, we were ready to be put to the test in a mock press conference. Taking turns acting out the parts of reporter, anchor, public relations coordinator and panelists—we were able to both test our climate knowledge and prepare ourselves to speak out in public about climate change and Power Shift.
As we head to Power Shift next weekend, we were armed with what we learned at the ACE Youth Action Lab: we can achieve a huge as youth. The Action Lab also reinforced our knowledge of climate science and prepared us to speak out at Power Shift on the impact climate change is having today. We are pumped to take this knowledge to Pittsburgh next week!