As the September 20th Climate Strike kicked off, NYMetroParents spoke with our own Monica Weiss about Ethical NYC’s efforts to support the youth leaders by inviting them to use our meeting house for their extensive organizing meetings:
This past summer, youth activists in NYC were communicating mainly through social media and group messages–until the New York Society for Ethical Culture invited the kids to meet on Monday afternoons in Ethical NYC’s headquarters right after July 4.
“It made perfect sense that when this came to my attention, that the youngsters were organizing this massive undertaking, that we needed to offer them space,” said Monica Weiss, co-chair of Ethical NYC’s Environmental Stewardship Committee. “And we did.”
The kids began meeting on Monday afternoons and soon were also meeting on Wednesday evenings for open planning, inviting all youth who wanted to get involved with the movement to join the conversation. Olivia said that having a physical meeting space facilitated communication and planning. After the strike, the youth activists plan to continue open meetings and organize smaller but equally effective events better suited to kids.
Weiss said that after watching the youth activists organize and plan in the weeks leading up to the strike, what adults can learn from youth activists has become clear.
“Adults who care really have to take [the kids’] lead. The kids are doing this because they understand what the reality is,” Weiss said. “And the reality is the science tells us that we have an increasingly small window of opportunity to engage solutions, big solutions on a massive scale. And everyone has to be involved. Everyone–not just government, not just world leaders, not just scientists and researchers and philanthropists. This has to be everyone. Every family, every community, every faith congregation, every school, every classroom.”