By Savannah Huls
On the evening of June 3, a group of Valley youth gathered in Margaret T. Hance Park in Downtown Phoenix in an effort to rally for climate change. This group, known as AZ Youth Climate Strike, is comprised of Phoenix high school students who are fighting to have climate change prioritized in the Arizona legislation.
High School Climate Rally
The rally and press conference were organized in an effort to gain support and bring attention to their mission, as well as several specific goals.
Their first goal was to gain press and publicize the Juliana v. United States case, where 21 youth around the country decided to sue the United States for violating their constitutional rights by knowingly contributing to climate change.
The second was to raise awareness for their own cause, and gain support for their AZ Environmental Priority Resolution.
The last goal was to “ignite a feeling of community with all the activists who showed up… to create a sense of support…and show people how to get involved with climate activism,” explains Aditi Narayanan, co-founder of AZ Youth Climate Strike.
Narayanan says the event was a success.
The group succeeded in gaining media attention, as well as support for its AZ Environmental Priority Resolution. According to group member Amritha Karthikeyan, the resolution currently has approximately 300 signatures.
Around 30 people attended the evening rally, which, though it was lower-than-expected attendance, actually made it feel more intimate, explains Narayana, who says it was her favorite event yet. The smaller-than-normal attendance actually allowed them to “call on people in the crowd to share their stories and their experiences with climate change and advocacy.”
Karthikeyan says that “the biggest success was hearing more from the people of Arizona, their journeys, and what they hope for us to accomplish.”
Co-founder Narayana was also glad that there were local officials in attendance, and reaching the overall goal of letting people know ways they can impact climate change.
The remainder of the summer will be focused on garnering additional support from local city council members and candidates, as well as preparing for the group’s big strike, which is planned for Sept. 20.
For more information, visit AZ Youth Climate Strike on Instagram and Twitter @ClimatestrikeAZ and on Facebook under AZ Climate Strike.
Savannah Huls is an Arizona-raised writer, traveler, and outdoor-enthusiast working as an editorial intern for Green Living Magazine. She is in the process of completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and plans on continuing on to receive her master’s in global journalism. She hopes to one day be able to travel the world and collect stories in order to pursue her passion for writing.