August 13, 2020
As young people around the world become increasingly aware of how climate change is impacted by decisions made by lawmakers, they've been starting their own coalitions that push for real policy change.
Alexandria Villaseñor, the 15-year-old founder of Earth Uprising, a global movement focusing on policy spearheaded by youth climate activists, said young people's willingness to share information, educate each other regarding the climate crisis and demand change is working.
"I think that one thing that the youth movement has made clear is that lawmakers will listen to us because we continue to take action and make our voices heard," she told Cheddar.
Villaseñor said she launched Earth Uprising after the devastating 2018 Paradise Fire in Northern California.
"Seeing climate impact my community, that was something that I wanted to find out more about," she explained.
Being just 15-years-old, going to the polls just isn't a reality, but for Villaseñor, the importance of eligible voters electing officials who understand the current crisis state of the Earth is critical.
"I think this upcoming election is super important, that we get someone into office that actually listens to the science," Villaseñor said.
Earth Uprising has not only garnered the attention of global policymakers, but it also found itself a corporate partner in GAP Kids, working to shine a light on youth leaders through a virtual rally, set for Friday.
"I think it's amazing that they're giving all these youth activists the support and space to tell our stories and send our messages to a larger audience," Villaseñor said.
The social campaign, according to Villaseñor, will use the hashtag #BeTheFutureThatWill to encourage young people to make their voices heard about issues that they want to have addressed, whether it is climate change or otherwise.
"When young people talk to their peers, it empowers us so much more," she explained.
For Villaseñor, the push to spread information and call for change doesn't stop with the 'Be The Future' rally. Earth Uprising is writing a curriculum centered on bettering the environment that will be "shared between a young person to another young person."