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iMatter Denver is going to be huge! Organized by a team of youth, ages 10-12, Earth Guardians, has joined up with local chapters of national partners. They are expecting up to 10,000 marchers who will march through downtown Denver to the State Capital. Following the march there will be a rocking event with youth superstar activists like iMatter founder Alec Loorz, and Earth Guardian Xiuhtezcatl Martinez who will advocate for protecting the planet for the youngest generation. Johnny 5 from Flobots will play, Governor Hickenlooper will speak.
Salt Lake City, UT
On May 7, the Salt Lake City team of high school visionary leaders and their mentors is kicking off more than a single march. The Mother’s Day weekend is only the beginning as marches in Moab and Bluff are planned for later in the year. The youth climate movement launched with this event will honor their commitment with the 4 Years Go campaign to alter the course of history in the next 4 years. The “Marade” (marching parade) will feature walking “floats” organized by different groups. Says march organizers, “I want to grow into a life filled with adventure, not spent remembering the world how it used to be I want my child to be guaranteed a livable future I want to experience nature without having to worry that it won’t be there someday.”
iMatter Cameroon is organized by Jean-Paul, the iMatter Africa Coordinator. The march will take place on May 8, 2011 from the Yaounde Central Post Road to the Yaounde President residence. In the evening they will have a ‘Party for Climate Justice’ to celebrate. The organizing team is registering hundreds of young people to participate and support the March to lobby policy-makers and politicians involved with climate change.
Sixteen year old Akilah Sanders-Reed, a core member of the iMatter national team is organizing a march in her home town of Albuquerque. Young people will march with their families from Highland High School to the University of New Mexico with a focus on green businesses and end with a Mother’s Day picnic.
College students Tanmay and Ram are planning a series of four to ten marches all across India. Along with the organization EcoYouth, they are organizing massive marches that will take place in July, when the heat of the summer has lessened. Tanmay says, “our aim is to reach out to the youth in colleges and young students and spread awareness about the growing need to stand for our Mother Earth.”Due to the heat and monsoons in India, the iMatter India Marchers will take place in July or early August instead of May. The iMatter marches will coordinate with the anniversary of India’s independence from Britain, a victory won through peaceful demonstrations and marches. The iMatter marches throughout India are planned in four to ten major cities including Chennai, Vishakapatnam and Mumbai.
Mia Szarvas, a senior at Analy High School in Sebstopol California, is organizing a march for Eureka, CA because she wants to take a stand and tell the government and the world that our future matters, that our children’s futures matter, that there is nothing more important than protecting and sustaining the environment we live from and the amazing ecosystem that sustains us. Mia feels that “This is the most worthy cause I’ve ever encountered, and we should all be marching because this is not a partisan issue or a moral issue, this is a human issue.”
15 year old Carolina Castellanos, is on the Global Board of Plant for the Planet, representing America Latina and the Caribbean. She and her friend Paulina are working to plan iMatter March Cancun to work to “change the climate crisis and give awareness to the people to change our way of living, using less fuel and stop being so selfish.”
Bubacarr Baldeh, a member of Youth Alliance, working with Global Unification, is organizing the iMatter march along Kairaba Avenue. Bubacarr says “I am organizing this march to add the voice of Gambians youth to that of the whole world for governments and other stakeholders to get the message.” Prior to the march there will be a conference where speakers will discuss the problems from climate change and the solutions including, “the importance of kids & youths in the race for a better future.”
Three energetic teenagers in Bangkok are working on organizing the iMatter march for Thailand. The march will take place at Jatujak Park in Bangkok and they expect more than 50 people. They say, “We wanted to start a march because we think that the issue of climate change and how we treat the Earth is a relevant one and it’s happening as we speak, we also care about our Earth and this generation’s knowledge about this issue.” They are working with their Thai-Chinese International School, the International School of Bangkok, and Ruamrudee International School to organize the march. Check out the videos they made, (warning: made by and FOR teens!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDitoKSCt9E and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHe99xVOLSw&feature=related
15 year old Grant Serrels, in Harrisburg, is working with his twin brother, sister, friend Alex, and mom to plan the iMatter March Harrisonburg. Grant says, “we are marching for our human rights as citizens of this planet for a future and a clean environment.” They will march around Court Square to make their voices heard.
Hong Kong, China
Nicole, a teenager in Hong Kong, saw Alec Loorz speak at a conference in Indonesia and was inspired to organize a march from the Hong Kong Convention Centre Wanchai to Victoria Park Causeway Bay. She expects 50 to 70 people to march with her to show that they matter. Nicole says, “I am organizing an iMatter march because everyone needs to know that we need to respect our environment and our earth, we cannot keep polluting and wasting anymore.” She is organizing the march through her school and plans to connect with other schools in the area to gain support.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Faith Mullins, a Junior in High School is working with her friends from the recycling club to plan the iMatter March at the Downtown Riverfront Park. Little Rock’s iMatter march is focusing on inspiring youth in Central Arkansas to become environmental activits. Mayor of Little Rock will speak about on the importance of youth activism in the community. Faith says, “We believe that only the youth can make the fundamental change we need. We challenge every youth to dedicate themselves to help achieve the green dream in Arkansas”
San Jose, Costa Rica
Over 100 people will join the iMatter march in downtown San Jose on the Central Avenue Boulevard. Rafael Monge is the youth organizer who is working with the group CO2.cr (www.co2.cr) and ten other incredible organizations. A senator from the Costa Rica Parliament will participate in the march and they have invited President Laura Chinchilla to join the march as well.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Dhaivat, 17 years old, is from India but lives in Kuwait. His dad works in an oil company like most kids around him. In his words: “The reason I am doing this is pretty evident: Global Warming. I see a lot of potential in solar energy in Kuwait, these are not wild claims but results of a systematic research: bit.ly/igTmb7. Kuwait is one of the hottest place on earth with 80% annual sunshine. Kuwait ranks 6th in per capita consumption of electricity, 120% of which can be met according to the above mentioned report! We here hope to spark off a green revolution in Kuwait, but a lot needs to be done before that can happen. We hope to pull it off well enough to get the message across.” They will march from the Marina Mall to Scientific Center on 14th May.
Mexico City, Mexico
“Yo Importo” Mexico has built an incredible, passionate and dedicated team. One thousand elementary school students, teenagers and youth supporters will gather in Mexico City to march. There will be a stage and youth activists will speak. Additional speakers include the head of the Mexico City Environmental Administration, Martha Delgado, and a representative from the City’s Ministry of Education. Local bands will play and there will be tents and booths featuring local organizations and iMatter t-shirts for sale and even live streaming of the event.
15 year old Matthew Smith is organizing the iMatter March in Cleveland on May 7th at the Rocky River Nature Center. As a volunteer for Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Society, Matt is already a leader on environmental campaigns and passionate about climate change action. Matt says, “we are a generation inspired by the need itself to step up and be the change we want to see. What i am doing is Joining the Cause to inform others about the problems in our world. We the youth and adults have to stand up for what we believe in.”
13 year old Felix Finkbeiner, is teaming his global organization, Plant for the Planet, with iMatter to promote the message, “Stop Talking, Start Walking, Our Future, Our Revolution!” Youth from 130 countries associated with Plant for the Planet (www.plant-for-the-planet.com) have already planted over a million trees and aim to plant tens of billions over the next several years. The iMatter marches on May 8 will feature creative flash mobs and focus on essential tree planting initiatives to bolster the planet’s ability to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Mt. Everest, Nepal
A group of wilderness and environmentally concerned medical professionals are joining the iMatter March and promote support for Our Children’s Trust in partnership with the Will Steger Foundation. The organizers state, “We care about the future of the earth for our children and our grandchildren and want to promote global awareness as we journey to the Base Camp of the highest mountain on earth, Mt. Everest. It is important to me to protect this beautiful earth for our children and grandchildren so that they will have the opportunity to enjoy it just as I have been so fortunate to do.”
In Germany, iMatter is collaborating with the organization “Plant for the Planet.” Frederic and his brother are boy scouts in Dresden and are organizing the iMatter march. On May 7th, they will gather with posters, banners and fliers, at Prague street and march to a fountain where there will be a flash mob. From their they will march on to the train station. Frederic says “We want to grow in a better world. My mother supports us, as well as friends and other adults.” The message of their march is “Stop talking and start marching. It’s 11:55! We children of Plant-for-the-Planet show with iMatter March! We want a healthy world. Our future is us!”
Mohon Kumar Mondal, is a young person who works with an organization that supports the poor and marginal people of the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh since unplanned shrimp cultivation, river erosion and various natural disasters compelled the coastal people to be migrated in the urban areas. Mohon is organizing a 100 km (62 mile) march across Bangladesh that will pass through 70 cities and highlight how the country is already feeling the brunt of climate change; he is a documentary maker and United Nations youth delegate.
Pakistan has felt the worst affects of climate change this year. Last July, in a region that never gets more than 3 feet of rain per yet, got 12 feet. Their river completely flooded, sending 70% of the homes underwater. Qazi Ali Athar is organizing a march at Sea view, in Karachi, Pakistan with over 5000 people in attendance. Ali is an Environmental Law Attorney committed to environmental issues as they pertain to future generations. The march is being organized through school administrations in Pakistan.
Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Jasmine and her club at school called the Global Issues Network are organizing the iMatter march from the Central Park to Central Park Station. She heard Alec Loorz speak to an Asian youth conference in Jakarta, Indonesia and felt inspired to stand up for her generation.
The president of the environmental club at Bergen Community College is organizing the iMatter March in Paramus, NJ. Luisa, says that as a kid, her mother taught her to respect others; she always said “it doesn’t matter if it’s a person, a plant, wind, water or an animal; we all have to be respected.”
In Bethel, students from Vermont Law School will gather at Bethel Bandshell Park and ride their bikes over forty miles to join the Montpelier VT march that ends on the statehouse lawn, demanding climate change action for the future of this planet.
In Atlanta, the Atlanta Planeteers and the Captain Planet series Exec. Producers will be marching. They will make Planeteer Shirts together at the Cypress Street bar before they march and then march around downtown streets for Mother’s Day.
http://www.CaptainPlanet.me http://imattermarch.org/march/location/atlanta-georgia-usa/ http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_143831062340997
In Austin, college student, Angie will meet at Waterloo Park in Austin for a fun gathering for both family and students before marching towards the capital building steps. After the march, youth protesters will join Austin’s Pecan Street Festival.
Chelsea and a group of her high school friends are organizing a walk on the docks in front of the Tall Ship LCF Baltimore, highlighting transportation without carbon emissions and the effects that sea level rise will have on coastal cities like Baltimore. Chelsea says, “this will be my first march, but I’m extremely thrilled to be organizing it. I only just recently became an active advocate for a greener future even though I’ve supported it all along.”
Big Bear Lake, CA
Krystina De Caro, a student at Big Bear High School, and her younger brother Anthony, are organizing the iMatter March in Big Bear. They are calling upon every person in Big Bear to join them to march in the streets on Mother’s Day to demand that the survival of the youngest generation is considered a top priority.
Organized by college students, the iMatter march with take place along Church Street. Marchers will carry signs and banners that focus on the moral authority of youth on the issue of climate change. Marchers will end at City Park where they will gather.
Grand Rapids, MI
Young leaders from the Grand Rapids Mayor’s Youth Council have been planning a Mother’s Day march are expecting 1500 people. The march will be end in high school auditorium, and the event is supported by the Mayor’s Council.
The iMatter Mother’s Day Climate Change March and Rally in Brattleboro is organized by Preserve Our Planet (POP), students of Brattleboro Union High School, and Post Oil Solutions (www.postoilsolutions.org). They will march to Brattleboro Common where they will gather and listen to youth speakers and music following the march. State Representatives Molly Burke and Sarah Edwards will be joining the event and will speak as well. Vermont Governor Shumlin has also been invited. Marchers will participate by bike, roller blades, skate boards, stilts, veggie mobiles, as well as walking and other modes of non-petroleum transportation.
In Driggs, Idaho, the teen iMatter crew will meet at Teton High School on Mother’s Day and march to the Driggs Courthouse where they will have posters and banners to make their voices heard. The marchers will demand that leaders pay attention and create a climate action plan to protect our future!
In Hartford, Connecticut the rock-star students of Connecticut College, Carra, Jackie, Molly, and Jon, have stepped up to the plate as the iMatter Connecticut march organizers! Building on the energy from Powershift, this crew is taking it to the streets of Hartford. The march will take place at noon on May 8th in downtown Hartford. Check out their awesome video about their march
St Paul, MN
The first iMatter March happened on May 1st in St. Paul as part of the annual May Day parade. The iMatter youth will be joined by 350.org members and march together with 20 other organizations to march as part of the parade. Carrying signs that say “Our Climate, Our Future, Our Revolution” and other bike floats, youth activists will get focus attention on the reality that climate change affects the youngest generation most.
San Diego, CA
In San Diego, Max James, a high school Junior is organizing an iMatter march with his school environmental club. Max and his friends have been making videos, painting banners and recruiting friends to march through Balboa Park.
The iMatter March will take place on Mother’s Day, May 8 in downtown Missoula. Over 200 people will march down Main St. with high school kids, the local Audubon chapter and other organizations. Following the march, a rally is planned with speakers including the Mayor of Missoula who will discuss the new climate action plan for the town. Additional iMatter marches will take place in other towns in Montana a week later on May 14.
Building on the success of Powershift in DC, an iMatter team is organizing a march on May 8th in the nation’s capital to further amplify the youth voice. Dr. James Hansen will be marching alongside Estafania, the youth organizer in D.C. She states “We must ensure that our leaders, businesses, and neighbors think about the consequences future generations will have to confront if we don’t act now. We must stop our addiction to fossil fuels and support sustainable energy solutions that respect our environment.”
South Royalton, VT
The march organizer, Margaret, is a freshman at the Sharon Academy high school. Her mother was trained to give climate change presentations through Al Gore’s organization, the Climate Project in 2007, and Margaret followed suit in 2009. Since then, she has been giving presentations at conferences and she believes that “my generation has the power to change the future and keep this world the beautiful place it is.” Margaret and her mother are organizing the iMatter event on Mother’s Day, May 8th, from 2-5pm. There will be a band from the high school and an open mic for others to speak, sing, or read poems.
After being inspired by a speech from Alec Loorz, a group of ten Ojai teens from Oak Grove School, Beasant Hill School, The Thacher School are working together to organize the iMatter March in Ojai on Sunday, May 15th. Local partners include GreenPeace, Ojai Valley Green Coalition, and Patagonia. The youth, with their families and friends, will lead the march through Main Street and end at Libby Bowl where there will be a rally with music and speakers.
Leslie Garrett is organizing an iMatter March in London, Ontario with her three children. On May 8, the London walk will meet at City Hall and walk to Covent Garden Market, home of the city’s beloved farmer’s market and many local sustainable businesses. The afternoon will feature youth bands and speakers – intent on reminding all of us the power of young voices raised in protest and community. The marchers will join local grassroots organizers to host displays of initiatives to move further along the road to sustainability. Leslie’s 12-year-old daughter is emceeing the event and her 8 and 10-year-olds will be marching proudly.