Civics For Change: Climate Change

Young people are keenly aware of how the issue of climate change will be ours to solve. According to the data out of the Pew Research Center, Gen Z and Millennials are more actively engaging than other generations with climate change activism both in person and online, and how we’ve been voting with record turnout demonstrates our desire to make our voices heard on the issue. What’s our motivation? We don’t have the luxury of knowing we won’t see the consequences of our collective inaction. 

Without a liveable planet, we cannot fully address any of the issues we care about. These mapped projections show how climate change will not discriminate along party lines. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the Earth’s climate is changing, and if left unaddressed, will only continue to lead to more intense hurricanes, wildfires, floods, rises in sea level, diminishing crop yields, and more. 

It is overwhelmingly sad to acknowledge the damage that has been done to our environment and what we must do to ensure a liveable planet for generations to come. In moments like this, it’s important to remember: you cannot do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good you can do. 

With the conversation surrounding climate change continuing to grow, be sure to take time to read some good climate news. Remember with hope comes the responsibility to work diligently on climate justice initiatives to remedy the differing social, economic, public health, and other adverse impacts climate change has in our communities. 

The American Public Health Association found that communities of color experience pre-existing health conditions and poor living conditions more than their white counterparts. Coupled with a lack of proper representation as a result of voter suppression and gerrymandering, these systemic inequities make communities of color not only more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, but also more marginalized in making their voices heard on the issue.

As Rev. Yearwood put it, “climate and democracy are directly linked because the same folks who are trying to steal our democracy are also trying to steal our clean air and clean water at the same time.” To learn more about the intersections of climate change, civic engagement, and music, check out Season 1 Ep. 8 of our Live The Legacy Podcast with Rev Yearwood of Hip Hop Caucus, and stay tuned for upcoming blogs on issues young people care about.


Mia Matthews is the Program and Communications Manager at The Andrew Goodman Foundation. In her position, she works with student leaders and in communications surrounding their work. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida.