by Nicole Karsch
“2020 is going to be a turning point for our generation’s future, but whether it goes our way is up to us. Scientists around the world are clear: inaction on the climate crisis will be a death sentence for millions of people,” read the start of a call for climate action put out by the youth group, Sunrise Movement. From climate strikes to record youth voter turnout, young people across the country are rising up in the face of climate inaction.
Last week, sixty-five members of the New School Community came together to attend “Decade of the Green New Deal Launch Parties.” Following the call for Launch Parties from Sunrise Movement, Milano, Tishman Environment and Design Center, and the Urban Systems Lab came together to host four launch parties across campus. The sessions included viewing two recently released documentaries provided by the Sunrise Movement, followed by conversations about approaches to climate action and what it looks like for people in the room and the larger New School Community.
Conversations ranged from finding inspiration in the young people leading on climate action to thoughtful critique of the role of institutions—such as the state—and tools—such as elections—to get us out of a crisis created and perpetuated by those same institutions and tools.
The call to action from the Sunrise Movement is clear: Organize your local community to vote for Green New Deal champions and strike on Earth Day. At the launch parties, students signed up to host “strike circles,” to turn out their local New School communities and beyond for elections and strikes. Upcoming New School climate events include a Climate Emergency Teach-In from 11am-3pm on Monday March 2nd, hosted by the Milano Whole Earth Task Force, made up of students, faculty, and staff with collaboration and support from the Tishman Environment and Design Center.
Nicole Karsch is a first-year student in the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management program. She has experience with both community and local electoral organizing, and currently works as the Northeast Regional Training Coordinator with Sunrise Movement.