On September 20th, 2019, the March for Science team arrived in New York City and immediately raced to Battery Park to join 250,000 people at the Global Climate Strike. We witnessed youth and indigenous climate leaders from around the world take the stage and speak words of passion, confidence, and resilience to all those striking for our climate. March for Science was honored to be an official partner of the strikes, and helped mobilize thousands of scientists around the globe to join and support public endorsements. We had more than 1000 scientists participate in NYC alone! Among the speakers was Greta Thunberg, who with wonderful delicacy inspired onlookers with a call to action. To strike, however, was not our reason to travel all the way to New York.
The following morning, our team arrived at the United Nations at 6 am in preparation for the first ever UN Youth Summit. March For Science had the privilege of officially partnering with the United Nations to produce and host the SDG Media Zone, the UN’s live-streamed forum that highlights some of the world’s most impactful leaders and important initiatives on a global stage. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly, are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” As the host of the SDG Media Zone, March For Science had the extraordinary opportunity to not only elevate the voices of leading youth advocates, but promote science as a vehicle for achieving the SDGs.
As soon as we were through the gates, the SDG Media Zone took shape as our team began setting up banners, live stream cameras, and an engagement zone. As the stage came together, so did our toolkit contribution station. With three Ipads and an online form, we were prepared to collect information about organizing experiences from international youth delegates who had been chosen to attend the UN event. Here, organizers would input their best practices, lessons learned, and insights into what will soon become a living, dynamic organizing toolkit to include various aspects of movement building and offered in all official UN languages.
The MFS SDG Media Zone kicked off with an interview with the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy to Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake. Throughout the day, the Media Zone broadcast panels, interviews, and even poetry slams from the heart of the UN to media platforms around the world.
The panelists and speakers were never lonely as the Media Zone was constantly filled with a circuit of youth delegates, press, and international diplomats observing our streamed content, having fun at our selfie zone, and filling out our toolkit form. By the end of Saturday’s programming, we had received 130 submissions to the toolkit from youth leaders representing 50 different countries.
Finally, March for Science had the honor to flood the stage with youth activists as we announced plans for mass demonstrations next year on April 22nd, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We invite you to join us as we continue mobilizing support around the world for science-informed, evidence-based policies! Register your Earth Day action today at marchforscience.org.