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“Heated” rally to encourage participation of youth in climate-related issues

“Heated,” a youth climate change rally, will take place April 28 on the Lory Student Center Plaza from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

After noting an absence of youth participation in climate rallies, Haley Dallas, the lead organizer of the event, was inspired to create an event on campus to encourage youth involvement.

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“Our mission is to actively engage young people across Fort Collins in the struggle for immediate environmental action by demanding the protection of our water resources, food systems and global climate,” Dallas said.

The event will include music, art, games, information and interactive tables from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Organizations participating in the informational tables are:

· Trees Water People

· Environmental Policy Awareness Coalition (EPAC)

· Women for Wild Lands

· Climate Reality Project

· Defend Our Future

· Rams for Refugees

· Fort Collins Sustainability Group

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· Rams Organizing for Animal Rights

· NoCo 350

· Student Sustainability Center

· Population Connection Fight4HER

Attendees will have the opportunity to write letters to their representatives to voice their concerns about the current state of climate change.

“Our representatives make decisions and speak to the government on our behalf,” Alexandra Stettner, media coordinator, said. “Currently, many representatives are ignoring climate change or support policies that would further worsen the situation. If we don’t let them know how we feel or how passionate we are about this issue, there’s no reason for them to do anything differently.”

The rally will commence at 3 p.m. and feature speeches from Colorado State University students, professors and state representatives. The event’s speakers will be:

· Maggie Gilman- a CSU undergraduate student involved with the Climate Reality Project

· Dr. Stephanie Malin- assistant professor for the Department of Sociology

· Dr. Michele Betsil- assistant professor and chair for the Department of Political Science

· Duke Jackson-Fort Lewis College graduate who is working to establish permaculture food forests in Durango, CO to feed Durango public schools

· State Representative Jeni Arndt

· State Representative Joann Ginal

Following the rally, attendees are invited to join in a mass bike brigade to New Belgium to enjoy an environmentally conscious form of transportation.

Although the event is targeted at youth, climate change activists of all ages are invited to participate.

“Young people will inherit this earth,” Dallas said. “Right now, we must make sure that the earth we inherit comes with a livable climate, sustainable food systems and adequate water resources. Plus, young people have always been catalysts for change. Revolutions begin on college campuses, and this student body believes in sustainability.”

Collegian reporter Piper Davis can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PiperLDavis.

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