Letters to the Editor

Letter: Youth will take the lead at climate rally

The CLEO Institute builds climate leadership through education and engagement.

Education, as William Butler Yeats described it, is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. We are calling on all adults to support our youth and to help feed the flames of engagement needed to address our climate emergency [at 10 a.m. Friday at Miami Beach City Hall, for the] There is a Global Youth Strike for Climate rally. is this Friday, Sept. 20. Locally, we will strike from 10 a.m.-noon at Miami Beach City Hall.

As the founder of CLEO, I have been in this climate fight for almost 10 ten years, and the tent is noticeably bigger and fuller. But we need to build even more momentum, and it might very well be our young people who push the world to wake up and take charge. As one seventh grader’s sign says - if you won’t act like adults, we will.

I’ve spent the better part of three decades in and around schools where many adults lament some young people’s apathy and self-absorption.

Yet, too many of us fail to support and celebrate them when they embrace and confront important issues such as the climate crisis.


Please Support our GenCLEO Youth movement, where students, schools and like-minded organizations join forces to help young people find and share their voices on climate action.

A diverse group of teenagers has been planning our local effort for months — taking care of all the details, from permits to public relations.

We give special thanks to Miami Beach Climate Resilience Officer Susy Torriente for working through details with these young leaders.

Our youth are inspiring, determined, tenacious and unapologetic in their demand for immediate, bold climate action toward a livable future. Sadly, unless we act immediately, aggressively and globally, this becomes less and less attainable.

Some more enlightened public and private schools are arranging busloads of students and teachers, making it a field trip event! Bravo! And we’ve been raising funds to reimburse schools for buses. Some parents plan to take their children to the strike instead of to school. on Friday. Some schools are being less supportive, but we hope the tide will turn in the next few days.

I say: Let Them Strike! In fact, let’s Join Them!

Caroline Lewis,

founder and senior adviser,

The CLEO Institute,