As Climate change has become a more pressing issue, young people around the world have started taking charge and demonstrating their concerns. In September, the Students for Environmental Concerns UIUC partnered with students from Uni High School to host a climate march on the University of Illinois campus. The march started with laps around the Main Quad and ended at the Alma Matter statue, with speeches given by change-makers and local leaders. Following the speeches was an open mic for individuals to share their experiences and thoughts on climate justice. The rally ended by showing the lethality of climate change with “die-ins,” in which participants simulate being dead by laying out in the streets during red lights.
This local effort was part of a larger Global Climate Strike Week inspired by the actions of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. During this week, more than 7.6 million people from around the world took to the streets in over 185 countries, making it one of the largest coordinated protests in history. We spoke to some of the local organizers and participants at the local demonstration to hear their thoughts on how young people can play a role in shaping the future. Photo and video by Joseph Abe-Bell