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The Sunrise Movement is a campaign that addresses the need to stop climate change and also how doing so will create millions of high-quality jobs. This is a youth-led organization that wants to change America and the rest of the world by eliminating the use of fossil fuels in favor of wind and solar energy and by uniting people across political divides to do what’s best for the future of the environment. Using grassroots organizing strategies, the Sunrise Movement mobilizes youth in America to pressure their senators and representatives to address climate change issues.
The Sunrise Movement began in Washington, DC in 2017 and has hosted large and small actions on the local and national levels. Evan Weber, Matthew Lichtash, and Dr. Michael Dorsey collaborated to launch the organization after securing a $30,000 grant to write a proposal about how to save Earth from climate change. The Sierra Club allowed the organizers to use an office to work on the plan, which lead to the formation of this new advocacy group. The Sunrise Movement accepts donations to further the efforts of the Green New Deal and further influence the politics of climate change.
Members of the Sunrise Movement believe that making climate change a priority in America will ensure better political leadership and create jobs. Members, who come from diverse backgrounds, talk to their communities to educate people about the issues and are always nonviolent in their approach. By sharing stories, asking for help, and volunteering time, Sunrise Movement members work with other organizations that care about climate change to experiment and learn together.
Much of the strategy of the Sunrise Movement revolves around furthering the initiatives of the Green New Deal. The group’s strategy also encourages youth political engagement and endorsing political candidates who care about climate change. Interested individuals can find local #ClimateDebate actions in their area on the Sunrise Movement website or sign up to plan a new action. Other opportunities to get involved include starting a Sunrise Hub, joining a call or training, applying for a fellowship, writing to a representative, and attending a regional summit. Summits are open to young people between the ages of 13 and 35.
The Sunrise Movement has been active in nationwide efforts, such as #HeatWeek in August 2018, where youth organized civil disobedience events to call out politicians who accept funds from the fossil fuel industry. The group helped put the Green New Deal in the mainstream media after the 2018 midterm elections and has challenged numerous politicians in Washington, DC. The Movement’s efforts have extended to other cities as well, such as Boston, where youth congregated in a theater to launch the Road to a Green New Deal Tour in April 2019.