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Giving Compass' Take:
• Youth climate activists from the Sunrise School and Fridays For Future are bringing youth-led lectures, homework, and pop quizzes to virtual classrooms.
• How can donors support the plight of climate activists in the wake of COVID-19?
On any given weekday before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Michelle Cohen could be found in her Los Angeles office advising students on how to apply for an apprenticeship, or which classes they need to take before earning a high school equivalency diploma. But when public schools in the district shifted to online learning in March, Cohen, who has been an educator for more than 20 years, decided to embrace a new role as a student, in a class led by two instructors who were decades younger than her.
Sunrise School, as it’s called, is an online training program the youth-led climate activist organization the Sunrise Movement pulled together as soon as it became clear that students would be stuck at home for the spring semester. The group has three levels of online learning experiences designed to train thousands of new leaders in how to push elected officials to pass a Green New Deal.
Cohen enrolled in “The Green New Deal & Coronavirus Crash Course,” an intro class, and showed up every day at 6 p.m. for the four sessions. Amid California’s shelter-in-place order, it felt good to see the same group of people every night, dialing in from across the U.S. and Canada.
The Sunrise Movement isn’t the only youth-led climate group bringing lectures, homework, and pop quizzes to the screens and smartphones we’re all glued to. Fridays For Future, the youth climate action group founded by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, has hosted regular Friday digital strikes and webinars featuring the likes of activist and award-winning writer Naomi Klein. And the BIPOC-led youth activist group Zero Hour has put out podcasts focused on a new theme each week aiming to call attention to the root causes of the climate crisis.
Read the full article about climate activists' online curriculum by Breanna Draxler at YES! Magazine.