High Schoolers Demand Statewide Divestment in Massachusetts

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For Immediate Release
Release Date: 2/11/2015
Contact: Leah Qusba | 262.880.8661 | leah@acespace.org

This weekend, people around the world are rallying to demand divestment from fossil fuels as part of Global Divestment Day. In Boston, local community leaders and climate justice activists will be holding a rally at the State House on Thursday, February 12, to challenge Massachusetts to become the first state to divest its pensions from fossil fuels. High school Action Fellows from Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) will join 350MA and a diverse coalition of supporting organizations to pressure state elected officials to stand up for a cleaner, safer, fossil fuel-free future.

The day of action will begin with a Carbon Risk panel at 10 am. ACE students will spend the hour beforehand recruiting legislators to attend the panel, which will be hosted by Sen. Ben Downing, Rep. Marjorie Decker and Rep. Frank Smizik. After the panel, ACE Action Fellow Kerry Brock will join a broad coalition of local community leaders and keynote speaker, Tim DeCristopher, for a Voices For Divestment Rally. After the rally, ACE Action Fellows will band together with other young climate leaders to lobby for state divestment and lead a youth divestment organizing workshop.  

Since 2012, over 800 institutions and individuals have pledged to divest over $50 billion from fossil fuels, making it one of the most successful divestment campaigns in recent history. Given their stake in the future, it’s no surprise that young people, including ACE alumna, Chloe Maxmin, have led the way in calling for their cities, schools and businesses to divest from fossil fuels. This day of action will provide another opportunity for young people to have their voices heard in calling for a cleaner and safer future.

More about ACE:

The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) recognizes that young people have the most to lose when it comes to climate change, and the most to gain by solving it. ACE educates high school students about climate change and inspires them to take action.

Since 2008, ACE has reached over 1.8 million students across America with its climate education program and inspired over 300,000 students to take action. ACE has also empowered thousands of new and diverse students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be effective leaders. The program has been proven to work. In 2014, ACE students advocated for a New York City climate education mandate, pushed for school districts to cut carbon, and partnered with policy experts for lasting climate solutions.

ACE seeks to shift the landscape of climate engagement, which has traditionally excluded young people and communities of color – those that are most affected by climate consequences. 73% of ACE schools are public and 60% of students in its programs are youth of color.