This year’s Earth Day was one for the books. Despite the cancellations of strikes, gatherings and events due to COVID-19, our community was able to rise to the occasion and deliver an educational and impactful celebration.
The day started out with a morning concert and Q&A with musician and activist, MILCK. It was an inspiring introduction to the activities and projects planned ahead. Advisories met periodically to reflect upon the assigned activities students were completing throughout the day. While it was not the Earth Day Strike many had anticipated attending, our community’s celebration was nonetheless impactful, teaching us more about humanity’s complex relationship with the environment. The final activity brought the whole school together, tasking students with creating a climate justice inspired art piece and then posting it on our Earth Day Padlet. Looking at this digital bulletin board, it is clear that we have many hopes for the future of our planet. Our community’s art work reflects the goal of Earth Day: to educate and inspire the next generation to fight for the survival of our planet.
Emma C.’23 is the founder of Northwest’s Sunrise team, which coordinated the day’s activities. She introduced MILCK on the morning of Earth Day and led her fellow students on the Sunrise team in Earth day activities. In an interview, Emma said that the Sunrise strike circle began collecting pledges and planning for the strike back in February. “Our movement grew as we formed relationships with folks and learned what made people passionate about our vision.” With a core group of passionate students, they were able to continue planning over Teams and created a petition and video for the Green New Deal submitted to their city and state representatives on Earth Day. The petition was shared via email to the Northwest student body so that they could be informed and participate in the Green New Deal movement.
“We are championing a Green New Deal, People’s Bailout, and a governing agenda to stimulate the economy while putting frontline communities first,” said Emma. “We need policies that meet this moment and center the most vulnerable, as the COVID pandemic has served as a solemn reminder that the health and well being of one affects the health and well being of all. If you are curious, bored, tired, scared, excited, sick – we welcome you into our movement.”
Even in quarantine, you can make a difference, as the advisory activities and Sunrise projects clearly demonstrated. Thanks to Sunrise and the Northwest Earth Day Committee for an educating, inspiring, and motivating Earth Day. Contact Emma C.’23 with any interest in joining Sunrise at firstname.lastname@example.org.