April 21, 2017
By: Isabel Strebe, Senior at Minneapolis South High School, YEA! MN Core member

Bringing Energy and Hope on the Bus to D.C.

As I sit writing this on a sunny Saturday nearing 70 degrees, I’m reminded that spring has sprung! When I decided to go to the People’s Climate March and Youth Convergence in D.C. earlier in March, the last weekend of April felt miles away. But mid-April has crept up on me and, as someone who takes great joy in diligently writing in her planner, I’m feeling the need to reflect and ready myself trip to come. While I want to physically prepare myself with things like sweatpants and a neck pillow for the 24 hour bus ride, I also want to mentally prepare myself so I can be fully present and make the most of the opportunity to be around other activists, bond with YEA! MN, and see Washington, D.C. for the first time.

I’m most excited for the Youth Convergence that takes place on Friday evening, April 28, although I don’t totally know what to expect. YEA! MN has shown me the energy that can be created when lots of young folks come together, and I know that the social and political changes that have happened this year have made a lot of people fired up to take action. I hope the few hours we spend with youth from around the country is as powerful as I believe it has the potential to be, and that we are able to bring back this energy and urgency to our own schools and communities. I want to be ready to listen to other people’s ideas and experiences and come away with new ideas about how to organize or take action myself.

As for the march itself, I’m expecting it to be kinda wild! If the Women’s March earlier this year was any predictor, there will be hundreds of thousands of people packing the blocks around the Capitol. I’ve never been to D.C. and am excited to see the sites where so much decision-making happens. As a young person not yet able to vote, I want to seize more opportunities to take part in democracy.

While the movement is about combating the climate crisis specifically, asserting racial and economic justice within the climate movement is especially important now. I’m ready to take to the streets with a new generation of youth leaders and let it be known that we are fighting for climate justice for all.