On Sunday a group of Sarah Lawrence students gathered in front of the science building to attend the Peoples Climate March in New York City. Over 400,000 people participated (over double what was expected) to emphasize to the UN leaders that meet this week the urgency of the climate change crisis.
Kiana Michaan '18, with the help of Hillary Bernhardt '15 and the Warren Green house, led the Sarah Lawrence group that participated in the march. SLC's Community Partnerships granted the students 35 roundtrip Metro North tickets for students who attended the protest.
“It was wonderful to see the Sarah Lawrence student community coming together behind this cause. When we left the Science Center Sunday morning to head to the march, we had over forty Sarah Lawrence students gathered. All of us walking to the train station was a pretty powerful sight” said Sarah Fiordaliso '16.
“I had a fantastic time at the march. There were so many powerful moments. It felt really good to be there representing the school” said Michaan of her experience at the march.
College students came from far and wide to support; Dartmouth, Smith and Oberlin were among the many schools represented. The crowd marched with a wide variety of homemade signs and tee-shirts that read: “Youth Choose Climate Justice”, “I want my grandchildren to walk down this street, not swim” and “There is no Planet B.” As the march proceeded down Central Park West towards Avenue of the Americas, Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land as well as well as chants of, “One world is all we got! One world is all we got!” could be heard.
At 12:58 p.m. silence fell over the crowd of protesters, an eerie yet powerful experience in such a bustling city. After the moment of silence was over a wave of cheerful shouts traveled down the line as protesters lifted their hands in solidarity to such a universal problem.
Michaan commented on marching through Times Square, “It is such the epitome of corporate dominance and wasteful electricity and I think such a clear picture of how the values in our society and the whole system are just so in the wrong place.”
Clara Greenfield '17 reflected on her participation, “Looking at the pictures afterwards of the crowds of people lining up I was like, ‘oh wow, that was big and I was in the middle of it and it was awesome.'”
Michaan went on to talk about her vision for the future of the movement, saying, “There are so many differences and ways of life but there is only one planet and we are all interconnected. It’s just one march and one day but my hope moving forward is that a lot of the groups that organized, beyond just our campus, stay together and continue to do good work.”
As far as continued awareness of the climate crisis on Sarah Lawrence’s campus, Bernhardt said, “I am excited to use the energy from this march to drum up support for future sustainability actions on this campus.”
by Mary-Katherine Michiels-Kibler '17