KENNEWICK, Wash. - Global Climate Strike efforts are coming to the Tri-Cities led by students and local political parties.
The Global Climate Strike is a worldwide movement to highlight science behind climate change. Students have protested the lack of political action by world leaders by skipping school, attending rallies and writing to government officials.
Students around the world participate in Fridays for Future, part of the movement when students miss schools every Friday to bring attention to their cause.
Kennewick School District Executive Director of Communications & Public Relations, Robyn Chastain, says the district will not be effected by the planned demonstrations because students will not be in school. Friday, September 20 is professional development day for the district which was previously planned.
A Richland School District official says parents would be required to call and excuse their child from class to attend a rally that interfered with school. The principal would then decide whether to excuse the student's absence from class.
These local and national efforts and events are leading up to the United Nations Action Summit in New York. The summit will begin Saturday, September 21 with the student climate summit, a chance for younger people to speak out for their generation. It will continue through September 23 with presentations from international climate coalitions and hearing with national leaders.
Local groups have planned events across the world to educate and inform others before the summit.
The Citizens' Climate Lobby, Green Party of Mid-Columbia and Tri-Cities Democrats have planned several events in Richland and Kennewick including:
Thursday, September 19 — Climate Change and Health Presentation hosted by the Benton Franklin Health District and the Tri-Cities Citizens' Climate Lobby. Dr. Sara Cate is a Yakima physician and will discuss health impacts of climate change, like increased rates of asthma. She will also discuss solutions in the area. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. at the Benton Franklin Health District located at 7102 W. Okanogan Place in Kennewick.
Friday, September 20 — Informational meeting about the Global Climate Strike with the Green Party of Mid-Columbia at John Dam Plaza. The event will begin at 12 p.m. and people are encouraged to carpool there.
Friday, September 20 — Student Climate Walk for Action with the Tri-Cities Citizens' Climate Lobby at the corner of George Washington Way and Sprout Road. The walk will begin at 2:30 p.m. People can learn about the movement, write postcards and walk together to Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse's office.
Friday, September 20 — Climate documentary viewing hosted by Tri-Cities Citizens' Climate Lobby and the Washington State University Tri-Cities Environmental Club. They will be showing a National Geographic documentary Paris to Pittsburg, a film that explores the nation's energy future. The screening will begin at 5 p.m. is the east auditorium at WSU-TC.
Monday, September 23 — Sign waving and informational sharing with the Tri-Cities Democrats at John Dam Plaza. People will gather at the southwest corner of the park to begin their efforts at 4 p.m.
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