College and school organizations were some of the most common attendees at the People’s Climate Change March last week Sunday, September 21. These student groups travelled across the country to support a global initiative, which included 16 students and one alum from Kalamazoo College.
“I wanted to be a part of something bigger, a solution that everyone was contributing to,” Rosie Nocita K’18 said about her marching experience. The K students returned last week Monday, and they said missing the weekend of first week was worth it. “Although I fell behind with my homework, I believe physical presence at such events is vital to their success.”
The People’s Climate Change March coincided with the annual United Nations Climate Change Summit. The Summit itself ended last Tuesday, September 23, and over 100 leaders across the globe attended it, including President Barack Obama.
This became the largest climate march in history, as it attracted over 400,000 documented marchers. It was based in New York, but after ensuing social media coverage, the March spurred 2808 events spread across 166 countries.
The idea to attend the March, started when Amanda Johnson K’17 drew from her own experiences of active participation. “I wanted to make space for students who were really passionate about climate,” Johnson said.
She said she is particularly grateful for the Arcus Center for Social Justice and Leadership, which supported her idea and guided it to its completion.
She did not attend the march, because as a social activist she’s splitting her time between different issues. “Considering how environmentalism isn’t as important to me as some other issues are, it was the right thing to do,” she said. Shannon Haupt K’16 stepped in and led the group to New York.
The 13 students and alum left Friday evening. The group spent most of saturday learning ‘marching etiquette,’ meeting with fellow marchers, and making posters and banners for the main event.
From “awe-inspiring” to “an oceanic extravaganza of people, ” each K student rang with emotion when commenting on the March. “Climate change is an immediate threat that is effecting everyone, especially the underprivileged,” Noah Mishkind K’18 said.