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Berry Forum Marches with Zero Hour Youth.

Two young girls stand at a podium in a park reading a speech while 2 polic officers listen nearby.Two young activists addressing the New York rally. 
Photo: Br. Kevin Cawley

On Saturday, July 21, two members of the Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue joined several hundred young people in a march and demonstration in New York City to demand political leaders address the challenge of climate change. They joined Zero Hour ( youth who marched across midtown Manhattan and assembled in Dag Hammarskjold Park near the United Nations on First Avenue for a rally and speeches by young people on behalf of the planet. Zero Hour, founded by a group of teenagers, emerged this past year as an environmentally focused, creatively minded and technologically savvy nationwide coalition — trying to build a youth-led movement to sound the alarm and call for action on climate change and environmental justice.

Participants in the march stressed environmental justice in their remarks. Sr. Kathleen Deignan and Br. Kevin Cawley of the Berry Forum made the trip to NYC in a show of support for the Zero Hour group and to recognize the importance of informed young voices to carry the message of climate justice to legislators everywhere.

For the last year, a tight-knit group spanning both coasts has been organizing on social media. The teenagers kicked off their campaign with a protest on Saturday at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., along with sister marches across the country. As sea levels rise, ice caps melt and erratic weather impacts people everywhere, it is clearer now that time is running out.

A core group of Zero Hour members met with a group of 40 federal legislators on July 19 in Washington, D.C., to press their case for urgent action. The NYC march was held in tandem with multiple actions across the nation on July 21.