The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sarah Hager,

AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Sept. 20 Youth-Led Climate Justice Actions


On Sept. 20, three days before the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City, youth from across the country are coming together as a unified front to lead adults, institutional and grass-roots organizations, climate-focused groups and social justice groups to demand the changes we need to save our future. AFT President Randi Weingarten released the following statement on the youth-led actions:

"From students walking out in solidarity against gun violence, to young people marching for action on climate change across the world, we see powerful examples of what happens when young people take action for change. Today's students are tomorrow's elected officials, engineers, researchers and scientists; they are designing solutions to preserve the earth's riches, forging a path for a future they want to inherit.

"We are a union of professionals who support students and their future. Our educators and paraprofessionals, nurses and healthcare workers, and public employees support students every day as they take leadership roles and find solutions to issues that affect their communities--the places we all live and work. If we can help students learn about the science of climate change, help them understand free speech and citizen advocacy as part of civic education, and encourage their belief in themselves, we've done our job in helping the next generation secure their future."

The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do. The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.6 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.