The science of climate change is clear and the effects are already here - this is not a future problem, this is an immediate climate emergency. Young people all over the world are leading the charge for immediate action. Many students have gone on strike from school, missing class every Friday to protest outside government buildings and bring attention to the urgency of the climate crisis and asking for immediate and ambitious action to save their futures. In direct response to the youth climate strike movement, the UN has scheduled a climate action summit on September 23rd. 

We must support these young people and join them in the climate strike on September 20th and show our political and business leaders across the world that climate change is a global threat to us and to our children. We need  to send the message that inaction is not acceptable.

Let’s all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.
— Youth Climate Strike Movement

Collective grassroots action is a powerful tool to disrupt ‘business-as-usual’ and force those in power to address the climate crisis. Collective action is central to 500 Women Scientists’ advocacy approach and we call on our community of women scientists to join the global climate strike in whatever capacity they can, as individuals and as pods.

Get involved in one or more of initiatives listed below.

+ Join the Youth Strike

Strikes are a powerful tool to send the message that ‘business as usual’ is unacceptable. The Global Climate Strike is the moment for mass public demonstration of climate justice, but most importantly it is a moment to be good allies to the youth climate strikers. Our role is to listen and amplify the call of young people.

Perhaps the simplest and most powerful action we as women scientists can take is to show up to the local youth strike event organized by #FridaysForTheFuture on September 20th. If you share on social media, try to amplify voices of young people that you notice being underrepresented in media.

Please review Global Climate Strike website to pledge to join the strike, learn how to be a good ally to the youth climate strikers, and find guidance and ideas for how to organize a climate strike in your workplace or in your community.

As 500 Women Scientists pods, we should follow the Principles for NGO engagement with School Strikes.

To start:

  • Find and join your local youth climate strike as allies (remember, the kids are leading this movement, but they need us to show up in support)
  • Spread the word - many people don't know the climate strikes are happening or understand what they are about
  • Talk about the power of peaceful collective action and remember, it is easier for some people to show up in person than others. We all have different levels of privilege and some people are more vulnerable to be singled out by law enforcement than others during a protest. People do not have to protest to support the movement in other ways.
  • If you cannot join the youth-led climate strikes, organize with members of your pods to disrupt business as usual on your campuses/workplaces.
  • Reach out to other groups in your area (ex: local labor unions) and coordinate action if possible.
  • Declare a Climate Emergency (NY example).
  • Always protest in a peaceful, constructive, and visible way.

+ Climate Teach In

Teach ins have been used in social justice movement to augment strikes/protest - beyond disruption of business as usual, it is important to build collective knowledge.

  • Work with your pod to host an in-person or online climate teach-in event
  • Provide baseline information about the science of climate change, how it is impacting us today, with examples of impacts in your local communities and potential solutions
  • Develop materials, harness the power of our own network and climate expertise within pods
  • Find a location or webinar platform, assemble a diverse set of experts, advertise, and provide resources for participants (remember, your pod members are science resources for the community!)
  • Can't host a teach-in? Host a journal club at your scientific institution that focuses on climate
  • Stay tuned for more resources from 500WS to help organize teach-ins

+ Climate Storytelling Events #MyClimateStory

Sharing our lived experiences in a changing climate is a powerful tool to inspire action. So we're asking Pods to organize #MyClimateStory events in their local communities during the week of September 20th. These storytelling events would feature true, personal stories from Pod members and members of the local community who have a story about how climate change is impacting their lives and why they're calling others to act.

We've put together a "how-to" sheet on how Pods can produce storytelling shows, outlining more technical details for event production. Pods may choose to partner with local storytelling organizations for these events.

We're also pleased to parter with Our Climate Voices, a digital media organization working to augment climate stories to spark action. They believe when principles of ethical storytelling are followed, storytelling is a powerful way to compel climate action. They will be hosting a series of storytelling events around the world that will comprise an afternoon workshop on ethical storytelling and an evening story share in service of collective climate action. We encourage Pods to get involved and partner with their events happening in 22+ sister cities. Email us at 500womenscientists[at]gmail[dot]com to be connected.

For newcomers to science communication and storytelling, we recommend checking out this tips and tricks sheet from The Moth, listening to some stories form the Story Collider, and watching this webinar run by science communicator and advisory board member Christine O'Connell, who incorporates some tips for storytelling into giving a public presentation.

+ Local Political Action

To solve the climate crisis, we need system change. Climate action will require a strong and relentless grassroots push and coordination with our local elected officials. We as scientists must get off the sidelines and use our voices and positions of knowledge and privilege to support immediate and comprehensive action.

Connect with The Sunrise Movement hub, they go as a group to town halls and visit local political and civic engagement leaders.

Pods can support and join other local political actions in many ways.

  • Organize meetings with local representatives and talk about why climate action is important to you. Use specific examples of how climate change is impacting your lives and what sorts of actions and solutions you would like to see implemented.
  • Work with other local organizations to ensure that solutions are not exclusionary and are meeting the needs of the whole community, not just some groups.
  • In the US, join the National Voter Registration Day Sept. 24 - STEM majors have some of the lowest rates of voter registration and turnout, so focusing within our very scientific communities can be a powerful way to ensure science is represented and considered.
  • Sign up with Vote Forward to write personal letters to unlikely voters - this can also be a great pod activity!

+ Op-Eds

You may choose to put your writing skills and expertise to use to author Op-Eds about why you're supporting the climate strike, how you were called to action, why you'll keep fighting for climate action, or any other topic related to the climate strikes.

We've put together resources for how to write an Op-Ed and have a volunteer editorial team who can provide support as you draft and refine your message. If you'd like to make use of our editorial team, submit your writing https://forms.gle/o9jgRDKg5ZqgodpJ8

Stay tuned for details and resources to help support your climate strike actions. To indicate your personal or pod-wide commitment to action or to suggest another action, please fill out this form.

 

Participating Pods

 planned Events

Wed, September 18 Washington, DC
Storytelling to Regenerate
7:00pm at The Outrage
in partnership with Our Climate Voices, loam, and The Outrage