Victoria Barrett, 17, is an inspiring climate change activist, Roots & Shoots NYLC youth leader alum, and ACE Action Fellow. She has addressed the United Nations, attended COP21 in Paris, and collaborated on a bill with Global Kids that will ensure climate education in New York City public schools. Are you wondering how Victoria came to be so passionate about climate change? “One of the biggest contributions to my interest in climate justice is my family being from Honduras and my grandparents living on the coast. Sea level rise is quite prominent in the community that my grandparents live in and other communities inhabited by the Garifuna people, an indigenous people with which my family identifies,” she told First Here, Then Everywhere.
In one of her most recent undertakings, Victoria is currently a plaintiff along with 20 other young activists in a lawsuit against the United States government over climate change. Plaintiffs in this case voice that the United States government has failed to protect their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property by allowing practices that contribute to climate change, such as fracking, to continue. A monumental victory was won on November 10th when Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the case will proceed to trial. For eight weeks, or until January 20th, President Obama has the ability to ensure long-term climate protection. If the case is won, Victoria and the 20 other young activists will have the opportunity to sit down with President Obama and create a plan that will ensure climate protection for future generations.
In order to win this case, Victoria and the 20 other plaintiffs need your help. Every petition signature, share on social media and person that is educated about the case, can make a difference. As Dr. Jane Goodall says, “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” Here are three ways you can help Victoria in her remarkable mission to fight climate change:
Sign the Petition
You can aid Victoria in her mission to prevent further climate change by signing this petition. The petition asks President Obama to use his executive power to settle the Youth v. Government lawsuit and protect the livelihoods of future generations from climate change before he leaves office. Don’t forget to share it with friends, family, and colleagues, too! It may seem like a small action to take, but every signature brings us one step closer to long-term climate protection.
Spread the Word
After you’ve shared the petition with others, why not take it another step? Click here for a great social media kit from Our Children’s Trust. Simply download a photo from the document, choose one of the featured captions, and share via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platforms.
Educate Yourself and Others
Education is key. You can visit informative websites such as the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), Earth Guardians, and Our Children’s Trust to learn more about the case against the US government and about the issues that these organizations are addressing. Additionally, organizations such as the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Jane Goodall Institute provide information on climate change and how we can prevent it from becoming an even bigger problem. To stay updated, follow organizations involved in the case (Earth Guardians, Alliance for Climate Education, and Our Children’s Trust) on social media. You can also sign up for email updates on each of the listed organization’s websites.
Check out the Roots & Shoots Climate Change Action Theme to get started.