Two thousand Colorado youth and their adult allies sang this chant through downtown Denver this past Saturday, May 14, 2011 as part of the worldwide iMatter marches organized by Alec Loorz, founder of Kids vs. Global Warming. “The atmosphere created by this group of young, driven, and passionate future leaders was very unique and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” said Marissa Bramlett, a senior at New Vista High School in Boulder.
Alex Goetz from Lakewood High School is a freshman at the beginning stages of organizing an ACE action team at his school. “I feel empowered from the march; it was a great idea.” He and his fellow action team students were among the eight action teams from all over Colorado who marched under a homemade ACE banner at the front of a line of approximately 2000 marchers.
We braved the drizzle and rain to hear our voices reverberate off underpasses and to cheer at the sound of honking cars as they sat at stoplights waiting for our enthusiastic bunch to pass.
“I loved going to the march!…We, as a people, have moved from the realization of climate change to action against climate change…If youth continue to gather and become the leading voices against climate change, then I know we will succeed in maintaining a healthy, habitable planet!”
Josh joined his action team at Ponderosa High School just last month during earth week when ACE came to his school for a presentation. He’s become one of the club’s most dedicated members and even donned a polar bear costume for the march.
Maddie a freshman from Boulder High School, helped promote the march at her school. “I loved the iMatter march, because it was an amazing group of people that carried great energy and were all there to spread the same message, that OUR PLANET MATTERS. I was so thankful to be a part of it because, with 132 marches happening around the world, we’re making a huge impact and raising our voices to help raise awareness about climate change. It’s incredible that there are so many people out there that care, but it’s important that we work to expand that awareness and educate others on how they can make a difference. I especially think its cool that this march targeted youth, because we’re the ones inheriting the planet.”
Alex Budd, the founder of Fairview High School’s Lorax Environmental Club and one of the key organizers for the Denver march said, “The march was fantastic! But this is only the beginning. The real work begins as we take all this great energy and enthusiasm into our communities and schools, and do something with it.”
We all had an incredible time and feel energized and empowered to continue the work we have already been doing in our high schools and communities. Bobby Stokes from Lakewood High School’s action team summed it up best, “The march was a bunch of happy people doing good for the planet. It is pretty hard to believe that a 16 year old could start this.”
The Earth Task Force (ETF) is a Cottonwood Institute-sponsored program at New Vista High School in Boulder, CO designed to give student an opportunity to take the lead to implement sustainability initiatives at their school.
This article was written by Amy Atkins from the Alliance For Climate Education.