Kwame’ Glover ’19 was among a group of O’Dowd students, faculty and staff who joined with more than 30,000 people in the historical RISE March for Climate, Jobs and Justice that took place on September 8 in San Francisco. He recently shared his reflection on the experience.
My personal experience at the march was truly incredible from the very start. When I first exited the BART train at Embarcadero station at 10:15 a.m., I did not know what to expect from the march. As I walked out of the station I immediately felt the entire atmosphere change from the dull and monotonous Bart station to the lively streets of San Francisco. I remember being greeted by a group of teenagers from Credo High School who also handed me a poster which read “We Stand For Climate Justice.” All around, thousands of people from various organizations were gathered around Embarcadero Street preparing for the march.
One thing that I overlooked as I waited in anticipation was the importance of the march. It was easy to get caught up in the jubilation and lighthearted atmosphere, but the march was not only a fun way to spend a Saturday. It was a way to actually do something concrete to work for change. I participated in the march to make a statement to the leaders in the Global Climate Action Summit – to let them know that I care about the future of the planet and will not sit back and watch humans destroy it. The Global Climate Action Summit took place from September 12-15, 2018, and the goal of the event to come up with a plan to combat the threat of climate change by mobilizing the voices and experiences of real people. The fact that the climate march took place only four days before the Global Climate Action Summit showed that we as a community are very serious about the future of planet earth. Looking around at my fellow Solidarity in Action Leaders, I could tell that they, too, were on a mission to make a statement.
In a time where it seems as if everyone is divided by societal labels, it was very refreshing to see different groups of people all gathered together for one cause. Moving forward, I will cherish the moments of the march where everyone sang, danced and walked in unity for change. I am very proud of the fact that I am a part of a global movement that will hopefully continue until change is made. Looking forward, I will continue to fight for the climate both at home and in the community. Doing the little things such as recycling waste, buying eco-friendly products, or simply being educated about social and climate injustice can go a long way. I encourage others to take action in whatever way they can so that we can look forward to a bright future for our planet.