Eager to engage her peers in the fight to combat climate change, teenager Jamie Margolin founded Zero Hour in 2017. Inspired by Jamie's work, then-high school student Ilana Cohen saw a unique opportunity to spur the youth-led climate movement in NYC. Soon, she and her friend Amy Torres established Zero Hour NYC. On July 21st, 2018, they marched alongside hundreds of their co-organizers, peers, adult allies, and organizational partners from Columbus Circle to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza by UN Headquarters, where they held a historic Rally.
Now, Zero Hour is an international movement and Zero Hour NYC is expanding. NYC Head Coordinator Rachel Lee is eager to build our organizational partnerships and tackle new climate actions this spring.
We are frustrated with how special interest politics have stymied legislative progress toward environmental and social justice. Reliance on dirty energy is not only putting people’s future at risk, but also their present. As extreme weather and natural disasters occur more frequently around the world, we are seeing the emergence of a new climate refugee crises and an unprecedented scarcity of resources. Now is not the time for silence; now is the time for action. If lawmakers won’t lead the way on their own, us students are ready to push them.
First, WOW—the amount of energy and dedication to forging a more sustainable future at Saturday’s historic NYC Youth Climate March and Rally was unforgettable! The streets were filled with the united calls of city, state, and national climate activism groups; many individual marchers brought powerful homemade signs to accompany their chants while others came in costume to represent specific climate-related causes, including the need to #savethebees. All of our student speakers were powerful and unique, sharing different avenues for engagement in the movement for climate justice. Thank you to everyone who contributed to that success—volunteers, speakers, partner organizations, and participants. Make sure to read the New Yorker’s piece on the Zero Hour NYC March, and the official Zero Hour NYC press release.
Zero Hour NYC will continue building our youth-led coalition to combat climate change post-July 21st. The fight is far from over, and we want all New Yorkers to be a part of it! Our Post-March Action Guide provides a detailed outline of how you can remain involved in the climate movement. We urge you to share this guide as widely as possible. The guide includes a listing of upcoming climate events in New York, how to take constituent actions, and ways to support our partner organizations. You can also read more about becoming an organizer or volunteer with Zero Hour NYC -- you can sign up to join us here.
As Zero Hour NYC moves on, we are excited to be building a new leadership team who will take over for the graduating seniors. These students will be serious climate activists passionate about the work they are doing, fighting endlessly for their generation’s future.
The leadership board is still in the making, however, and we are accepting applicants from our volunteer sign up form. Join Zero Hour NYC today, and invite your friends and family to do so as well! Having been the junior coordinator of Saturday’s March, I am excited to step into a new role as Head of Zero Hour NYC and build what co-founders Amy and Ilana began as they leave for college.We are building momentum for new climate actions, especially the RISE-NY march that Zero Hour NYC will participate in. We hope to see you there!
Rachel Lee (email@example.com)
Coordinator, Zero Hour NYC
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