A contributed Perspectives piece by Joy Loving
What a wonderful two days Harrisonburg citizens have just had! On September 20 and 27, our youth came together at Court Square loudly and seriously to say they’re worried about their futures. And they want the “adults in the room” to help them save those futures. I hear they’re planning a third climate strike later this fall.
Having been part of a group of adults who worked with students from Harrisonburg High School, EMU, JMU, and Turner Ashby High School who organized the two events, I found the experience profoundly inspiring and energizing. Although I’ve worked with others on many projects to educate legislators and citizens about our climate emergency, never have I witnessed so many determined youngsters working cooperatively to get their message across. And I’m so pleased that local media covered both events.
The Second Climate Strike was followed the next day by the International Festival. This annual coming together of so many community members was just as inspiring as what the students did the day before. The “joie de vivre” on Saturday was evident on all the faces I saw. I was fortunate to speak with many attendees while volunteering for several local organizations who serve and work to improve our community—Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, Renew Rocktown, Earth Day Every Day, and Skyline Literacy. To a person, everyone was friendly, curious, and clearly happy to be enjoying the event.
It’s gratifying to know that events like these happen in the area. And I express my sincere thanks to all the students and volunteers who made them happen.
Joy Loving lives in Grottoes.
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