Climate Week 2020 September 21–27
Youth Leading on the Climate Emergency
Young people and young adults are playing leading roles in our organizations and movements. Come listen to their experiences of activism in the climate emergency. This “open forum” welcomes younger people to speak about their personal experiences and challenges as they organize for climate justice. Everyone can benefit from this opportunity to hear directly from youth activists.
The format of this forum gives participants a chance to more fully understand and relate to younger activists as well as to share their own experiences. Several times during the forum, members of the audience will pair up to process what they have heard and listen to each others’ stories. Sharing experiences is a powerful tool that strengthens our activism.
The Work of SAL and UER
It is possible to limit the effects of human-caused climate change and restore the environment—and some big changes are needed if this is to happen. Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) believe the environmental crisis cannot be resolved without ending racism, genocide of Indigenous peoples, classism, sexism, and other oppressions. The impact of environmental destruction and climate change falls most heavily on the groups targeted by these oppressions, and on other vulnerable populations (including populations of people who are elderly, disabled and very young).
To build a movement powerful enough to resolve the climate crisis, SAL and UER believe that the following barriers must be overcome: (1) longstanding divisions between nations and between groups of people caused by oppression (especially by racism, genocide of Indigenous people, and classism), (2) wide-spread feelings of discouragement and powerlessness, (3) a too-slow response to the escalating damage to the earth’s climate, (4) difficulties in effectively addressing the connections between the environmental crisis and the failures of our economic system.
We have found that these barriers are most quickly overcome as people heal from the mental and emotional harm caused by oppression. SAL and UER events provide opportunities for people to take turns listening to each other while encouraging emotional release. We become better able to think, speak out, organize, unite, and lead others in building a sustainable world.
SAL and UER are projects of and use the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling, which currently exists in 95 countries.