Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Forward on Climate Rally

This past weekend was a long weekend for most.  Many might have taken the extra day to enjoy the snow in the mountains or gathered with some friends and family.  This wasn’t the case for a group of amazing students that spent their President’s Day weekend to travel to Washington D.C. to participate in the Forward on Climate rally.
rganized by many environmental organizations (350.org, the Sierra Club, the Hip-Hop Caucus), the Forward on Climate rally was put together in order to send a message to President Obama and our politicians that it’s time to lead in the fight against climate change, beginning with stopping the Keystone XL Tar Sands pipeline.  Organizers promised it would be a historical day, indeed it was.

Over 50,000 people gathered at the national mall to participate in the rally.  It was the largest climate change rally in US history.  Senior Matt Connolly (majoring in International Relations) reflects on the experience: “For me, it was an awesome opportunity to experience democracy as it was meant to be: citizens voicing their opinions in a peaceful manner, seeking the ears of their government and boldly proclaiming, “No, we do not agree.” I stood there, with my peers, and together, we spoke with one voice.”  (to read about Matt’s experience at the rally: http://thiskidhisworld.com/2013/02/dc-forward-on-climate/ )

Working in Higher Education, I firmly believe that it is our responsibility to inspire, empower and provide hope for our students.  We are here for you and because of you.  This weekend, I felt the role was reversed.  The group of students that spent their weekend to stand up for all of our futures, for people (and all forms of life) they haven’t met across the nation and globe, has given me inspiration beyond hope.  I am humbled by their courage and conviction to make a difference in the journey we have before us to fight Climate Change.

To the students that went:  Nora Stoelting, Trevor Madore, Ibby Hearn, Kirsten Wilson, Cece Hobart, Brianna Healy, McKenna Earl, Whitney Burgess, Mike Brown, Lisa Ritter, Christine Peloquin, Brian Crowley, Nick Rucci, Matt Connolly, Hannah Thumser, Harper Fendler  thank you for standing up and don’t ever sit down.
 
Enjoy photos from the event courtesy of Christine Peloquin and Nora Stoelting.  Photo at start of blog is courtesy 350.org: http://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/sets/72157632781032097/