On March 15, thousands of youth from all around the world heard Greta Thunberg’s cry for action. They were inspired and took to the streets in an international Youth Climate Strike. The organizers of the Climate Summit were made aware of the strike early on and joined in on the planning process. Suddenly it became a whirlwind of calls discussing permits, speakers, etc. The pile of work was so high that it would make any head spin (and fall behind on their homework as several of us did).
To advertise and get people to attend the strike, Montgomery Blair High School students painted a 6 ft wide by 18 ft long banner. They also held a massive banner drop in the school to get people excited. They also took that banner with them as they marched down to the Capitol, along with Northwood High School students.
Sometimes there are moments in life that are so surreal in which it feels like you must be dreaming. The entire climate strike was like that for Absa. She was the stage manager for the rally. This meant that her job was to make sure that each of the speakers knew when to go onstage and, well, speak. Of course, as stage manager, this lead to her actually speaking to each of the phenomenal list of speakers, though it was about work. There was the Tiny Diplomat, Rebel Rae, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. She had to force herself not to get too starstruck while speaking to her idols about mundane things such as the stage lineup.
It is amazing to actually meet the people that you look up to. It is even more amazing when your idols tell you that they are inspired by you. Rebel Rae told Anna and Absa that seeing young climate activists makes her excited for the future. One of Ilan Omar’s staffers mentioned to Absa that she was awestruck by how the youth are taking action and making real change. There is a feeling of pride that wells up in one’s gut when they realize that what they are doing is “cool.” So often when you are being an activist you jump from one event to another. But when you are given the chance to actually look back at what you have accomplished, you realize that you kinda are cool.
The Climate Strike rally in front of the Capitol couldn’t have gone better. The crowd was hyped. The speakers were inspiring. And all of the organizers were beaming with pride. The main goal of the strike was to rally a call to action for elected officials to take action against climate change and support a Green New Deal. After the strike we had so many young people messaging us, asking how they can get involved.
When a whole event, that has taken months in the making, comes to its end, there is a feeling of loss. Even though there was a high level of stress and an intense amount of work, it gave purpose to one’s life. It is glorious to know that you are fighting for the right cause. No matter the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the organizing process. The climate summit organizers felt such a feeling of loss for only a second, before being tossed into the world of Climate Summit. The hustle don’t stop after all.
We will never forget our experience organizing the strike. This has allowed us to create lifelong friendships and has expanded network of youth activists.