On April 29, I marched with over 200,000 fellow environmentalists in the People’s Climate March in D.C. It was a beautiful public manifestation of resistance that brought momentum to the movement. I am a part of the climate change generation that is inheriting an unsustainable energy system, an unethical political system and a world full of racial and economic inequality.

Many question the power of marches and protests, and rightly so. Marches and protests are only one aspect of organizing for change. The real work happens when you contact your lawmakers, donate money to grass-roots organizations, write op-eds and lobby. But marches give me hope. Marches build momentum. Marches help resistance to continue. Marches and protests are important, but so is practicing what you preach.

Attending the People’s Climate March is only the beginning – the next step is organizing within your own communities. Reach out to local environmental organizations and ask how you can help, especially youth and students. It is our voices that have the most weight, because it is our future that is in jeopardy.

Isabella Pardales

Yarmouth