6-7s Building Study: Progressive Education

Seventh- & Eighth-Grade Activists Lead Community Meeting on Climate Change & Divestment

Seventh- & Eighth-Grade Activists Lead Community Meeting on Climate Change & Divestment

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Community Activism Meeting

Tuesday night, Manhattan Country School's seventh- and eighth-graders hosted a community event to share their activism campaign: Divest from corporate greed, invest in the future we need. Students shared details about guest speakers, trips, protests, and curriculum on climate change, environmental justice and other related issues.

Students in the activism elective then led a workshop on the divestment movement, which began by highlighting why we should divest from fossil fuels and the success of the campaign. It turns out that this global movement has influenced the divestment of more than $5 trillion in just over five years.

Students and parents were divided into groups and went to separate rooms to learn about how fossil fuels impact governance and democracy, war and conflict, health, and, of course, climate change. They then wrote letters to Mayor de Blasio urging him to divest New York City pension funds from fossil fuels and to their State Assembly members urging them to vote on a bill that would divest state pension funds from fossil fuels. We looked up everyone's state assembly member in advance so they would know who to write to. We are currently working on setting up a meeting with the mayor's office to deliver the letters by hand. 

The seventh- and eighth-graders invite you to join their letter writing campaign by using the following templates:

Before and after the meeting, students were stationed outside the gym with flyers and information for parents on how to divest their own money from banks that support the Dakota Access Pipeline, switch their electric utility to renewable energy, and order t-shirts with our activism logo.