Wake Up. Walk Out. Save the World.

By Matt Oberhoffner

Defend Our Future, a project of Environmental Defense Fund, is building a diverse coalition of youth-led and parent partners that share the goal of finding actionable and common sense solutions to solving climate change.
Strikes. Marches. Rallies. Protests. These events have been used by generations of organizers to showcase the power of their movements — their ability to mobilize fellow community members to build a better future.

In the 1960s, student leaders like John Lewis organized one of the most iconic marches of the civil rights era, the March on Washington. A young Latina, Delores Huerta, founded the United Farm Workers with her husband Cesar Chavez to help California farmworkers strike for better wages. More recently, youth leaders Emma Gonzales and David Hogg led millions of people in a mass walkout with the March for Our Lives.

On September 20, we’ll have another name to add to that inspiring list — yours. Join millions of young people around the world in the Global Climate Strike to defend our right to a safe, clean future. Find an event in your community today!

The climate crisis touches every aspect of our lives, across the globe. And it’s only getting worse.

It is supercharging natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires that are devastating communities and putting people in danger across the globe. Rising seas are force millions to flee their homes, and causing migration fueled conflicts. It is triggering health epidemics as diseases spread into new geographies with shifting habitats.

As Greta Thunberg has said, "Our house is on fire."

But as Greta and countless other youth leaders have shown us, we are not powerless to accept the status quo. Mass demonstrations send a strong message to our leaders that we are a force to be reckoned with. And the climate strike will send a powerful message: school and work will have to wait, because our planet cannot.

For every person that joins the strike, our message will be even louder — and harder for world leaders to ignore. Make sure your voice is part of this critical chorus for change on September 20th.

You don’t have to do it alone. Bring your children. Bring your partners. Bring your friends. WAKE UP the rest of society to the fact that our house is burning. WALK OUT of your classrooms or workplaces if you can, to show that nothing else matters if we don’t have a planet to live on. Demonstrate to our leaders that we have power, that we demand action, and that we will SHOW UP to defend our future when it is on the line.

Matt Oberhoffner is Project Director of Defend Our Future. He can be reached at moberhoffner[at]edf[dot]org. 

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