October 5, 2015 (Updated) – Students at over 60 universities across the country rallied for the first ever “KNOW TOMORROW Day of Action”—a major national movement that united thousands of college students, activists, civic leaders, corporations and celebrities to take action on climate change. Over the course of the day more than 20,000 petitions were signed nationwide.
Events kicked off in New York City where Governor Andrew Cuomo headlined a “Take Action on Climate” themed event and announced the launch of a clean energy competition for colleges and universities in New York State. Amidst a packed room of young people at NYU, Governor Cuomo explained, “Climate change has become one of the most defining issues of our time, and we must act now to address it. I encourage students across our state to dream big, and help New York continue to be a leader in changing the way we think about energy and the environment.” The newly announced competition will provide three $1 million awards to student-led coalitions at schools that propose the most innovative and ambitious clean energy ideas.
Boston students from over 17 local colleges and universities were welcomed to the event with a surprise letter from President Barack Obama thanking all students for their commitment to the Day of Action. “Hearing the President's words and acknowledgment of this day was incredibly validating and made me realize that when young people work really hard and feel as passionate about an issue as we do climate change, our voices have incredible reach and our message has the power to resound,” explained Ben Silver, student organizer of the Boston event. “I am extremely proud of what we accomplished here and feel confident that our work today can help shape a better tomorrow for all.”
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) also participated at the Boston event, where he noted, “All across the country, young men and women mobilized for the Know Tomorrow National Day of Action to harness the incredible power of students in the movement to address climate change. Young people on campuses in red states, blue states and in the Massachusetts Bay State are mobilizing to push leaders to shape a better tomorrow. Now is the time for this generation to raise its voice and demand that we protect the planet against the greatest challenge of our time – climate change.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined students at DePaul University in Chicago to express the importance of young people taking action. “From a storefront to the lakefront, every Chicagoan in every neighborhood has a role to play in building a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable city for our children to inherit,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We can only know tomorrow if we start making the best choices for ourselves and our world today.” The Mayor joined DePaul faculty, Mark Potosnak, Henry Henderson of NRDC, Mats Lederhausen of Be-Cause to thank the students for their commitment to combatting climate change and highlight the importance of addressing this issue.
Former Vice President and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project Al Gore joined a sea of nearly 2,500 students, professors and community leaders in Stanford University’s White Plaza. The former Vice President urged students to act saying, “Make sure your voices are heard - win the conversation. You are the generation that is going to make the difference in this fight.” The former Vice President was joined on stage by student leaders from Sustainable Stanford, Fossil Free Stanford and Stanford Professors Noah Diffenbaugh & Mark Jacobson.
“Today’s events confirmed that we cannot underestimate the power of our youth. Today they flexed their might, championed this cause, and took ownership over the future of our planet,” noted Wendy Abrams, Founder of Know Tomorrow. “I believe that the camaraderie and commitment we saw from young people across this country today indicates a tipping point for the climate change movement. They get it. They care. And they will change tomorrow for the better, but we need to act today. They deserve that”
This student-led initiative spanned more than 60 colleges and universities to harness the power of students—from red states, blue states and swing states—and hosted a diverse list of activities and events to push their leadership to make informed decisions now to shape a better tomorrow.
KNOW TOMORROW is a project of The Climate Reality Project and Cool Globes, Inc., devoted to focusing existing student efforts and synchronizing the millennials’ voices who are demanding action on climate change.
For hi-res photos of the events nationwide click here.
About KNOW TOMORROW
KNOW TOMORROW is a student-led campaign to demand action on climate change, launching with a national Day of Action on October 2nd, 2015. With students at more than 50 schools participating and dozens of environmental and corporate partners, KNOW TOMORROW’s mission is to empower the students to take action to create a better tomorrow.
About The Climate Reality Project
The Climate Reality Project is one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to mobilizing action around climate change. With a global movement more than 5 million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Reality Leaders, we are spreading the truth and unleashing cultural momentum to solve the climate crisis. Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore is the Founder and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project. For more information, visit www.climaterealityproject.org or follow us on Twitter at @ClimateReality.