Written by Hallie Turner, 13
I became passionate about climate justice at a very young age.
In fourth grade I picked up a book called An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming by Al Gore.
I had heard of the climate crisis, but I didn’t understand it. I was just a bored kid looking for something to read over the summer. But this book would change my life, and bring me to discover an organization called iMatter.
Listen to this episode of The Green Divas Radio Show—fellow iMatter youth Annemarie Manley and Amanda Cronin had an inspiring conversation with Green Diva Meg about young people like me trying to make a difference for climate justice and more. Then read on…
Gore’s book had opened my eyes to the world, and it showed me that that world was in danger and that my future was in jeopardy. It was clear to me that without a drastic global shift in mindset and lifestyle, we all faced an unstable future.
I started asking myself more and more questions. How was it that I had never heard of this crisis before? Why were people still denying science? How could someone see the clear truth in An Inconvenient Truth and all the other research and still refuse to act? Why did some people not get that things needed to change? Most importantly, I wanted to know what I could do.
Even then, when I didn’t understand the entire issue, I had a passion to get involved. I wanted my voice to be heard, but I had no idea where to begin. I didn’t think anyone would listen to what a nine-year-old had to say. Then I discovered iMatter, a youth-driven organization that has been empowering young people to make their voices heard on the climate crisis for over eight years.
Through iMatter, I have met with my mayor, exchanged letters with the president, written many blog posts, and given speeches in my community. I organized a rally in Raleigh, NC, in September of 2013, in partnership with other passionate youth and adults in my area. We wrote a Declaration of Support for Climate Justice for people to sign, we had music and crafts, and we marched around the North Carolina Capitol. Nearly 300 people came, and it was an incredible experience. Since then, I have been working as a plaintiff in a lawsuit to hold my state accountable for protecting our atmosphere.I believe it's up to us, the youngest generation, to stand up & ignite a movement. ~ Alec Loorz Click To Tweet
The iMatter Now campaign
This month, we’re launching iMatterNow, a campaign to rapidly transition cities away from fossil fuels by empowering youth to stand up and demand action.
We’re focusing on cities because we know massive change starts at the grassroots level, where people have to look us in the eye and realize it’s our future that’s at stake. We’ll be holding our civic leaders and the adults in our communities accountable for making real change with a Climate Report Card. And we’ll demonstrate the groundswell of demand for change via a petition, social media, presentations, public art, marches and more.
Do you want to help? There are lots of ways to get involved!
Young people can apply to join the Youth Council on our website here. You can subscribe to our newsletter and send in articles for the newsletter or for our blog. Adults, you can also sign up for the newsletter, donate to the organization, follow us on social media, and encourage your kids to get involved. If you have free time, we are looking for volunteers to mentor youth, primarily in areas like organizing, web development, presenting, writing, and video creation.
Filmmaker and Green Dude Mark Terry talks about his amazing new interactive non-linear documentary Youth Climate Report film series from designed especially for Paris COP21 in this Green Divas Green Dude radio show segment…