EARTH DAY 2020 BOSTON

April 18, 2020
see. hear. act.

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Councilor Michelle Wu, Sierra Club MA, $$$ and March 12th

Tabling with one of our co-sponsors at the Local Environmental Action conference at Northeastern University. On the right – Vernon K. Walker, Board Member

Hello friends of Earth Day,

This is a good news/bad news message. First the good news: we continue to gain momentum for a huge turnout on April 18th and throughout Earth Week in Boston. This week Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu agreed to speak and the MA Sierra Club, Speak for the Trees Boston and the Islamic Society of Boston joined us as a co-sponsors.

The bad news: we urgently need your financial support. We are not reaching our financial targets. Bills are coming due and without your support, we will not be able push for a just transition away from fossil fuels. Help us send a strong message ahead of the 2020 election that climate change must be a top priority. Please donate here. If you’ve already donated, we thank you and ask you, can you add $5, $10, $20 to your contribution? Help send a message to the climate denier-in-chief that we can’t deny science any longer. Our future is at stake.

Speaking of science – Earth Day 2020 Boston and the March for Science Boston are joining forces! We stand with scientists in calling for climate action. As Greta Thunberg and the youth climate strikers have been saying – “we must listen to the scientists!” We look forward to organizing with them.

If you want to help us spread this message, there are two opportunities – this Thursday, March 12th at 5:30 pm and next Tuesday, March 17th at 5:30 pm at the Church of the Covenant to plan the 50th anniversary of Earth Day kick-off event. See you there.

Sincerely,

Michael

P.S. If you are wondering how the new Coronavirus will impact Earth Day events, we are too. We are monitoring the situation and will make plans accordingly.

Senator Markey, Sponsorships and Spring!

Dear Supporters,

I’m writing with some thrilling news about our most recently confirmed Earth Day speakers and sponsors, and with an urgent request for your help in raising the funds we need to pull off this event.

We are excited to announce that Senator Ed Markey will be one of our keynote speakers for the April 18th kick-off rally! Senator Markey is the Chair of US Senate Climate Change Task Force and chief sponsor of the Green New Deal in the Senate. He has been a leader on the environment for almost 40 years and we are exciting to hear his inspirational message for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

We are also excited to announce that the American Federation of Teachers (MA) has endorsed our effort. That means we have the support of all public school teachers unions in the state. If you are a teacher and haven’t signed up to participate in stopping climate change, make sure you visit our “Take Action” page here to find out how.

At our last meeting, we endorsed business sponsorships because of our increased costs and short fall in our individual donations. We still need to raise $13,000 to make this event viable. Will you help us? Here is how:

  1. Make a direct donation or start your own donation page by clicking here.
  2. Help us find business partnerships willing sponsor the event. There are three levels of sponsorship:
  • Premier @ $10,000 for naming rights to the stage.
  • Sponsor @ $5,000 for a full page ad in the program
  • Co-sponsor @ $2,000 for 1/2 page ad in the program
  • Supporter @ $1,000 for a 1/4 page ad in the program

All of the above comes with exhibitor space at the event. Below is an example of the advertising available for the Premier-level sponsorship.

For business partnerships we are looking for businesses that:

  • Have a record of sustainability
  • Are not fossil fuels companies
  • Their mission and guidelines support sustainability
  • Support our agenda of stopping climate change
  • Support diversity and racial, economic and environmental justice.

If you know of a business that would be good for our event, please be in touch at earthday2020boston@gmail.com.

We hope you will join us as we continue to raise the alarm about climate change and seek to move forward with the agenda of frontline, faith and youth communities at the center of our efforts.

We have two meetings in March – on the 12th (Thursday) and 17th (Tuesday) to help us prepare for April. Both meetings are at 5:30 pm. Please let me know which you can attend.

Michael

P.S. The Massachusetts Presidential Primary is this Tuesday, March 3rd. Make sure you are educated about who will be a climate leader and vote!

Meeting Tuesday and New Location

Getting out the message in Chinatown this week.

Dear Earth Day Supporter,

We have our rescheduled February meeting for this Tuesday, February 25th at 5:30 pm at the Church of the Covenant.  We will be discussing and making decisions on a number of topics, including:

  • Fund Raising Goals:  
    • Where we are and where we need to be.
    • What kind of business donations to accept
    • We still need people who will start a fundraiser with us or make direct donations.  You can do this here
  • Finalizing the program. 
  • The Local Environmental Conference:  On Saturday, March 7th, we have a table and one free entrance to the Local Environmental Action conference.  Please email earthday2020boston@gmail.com if you would like to go and help us on that day.
  • Location – our permit for the Hatch Shell was denied, but we now have a space at the English High School in Jamaica Plain.  This has some advantages including being close to communities we hope to engage.

60 Minutes had a good story on the bushfires in Australia, where the Conservative former Prime Minister states “The right wing climate deniers treat an issue of science and physics and fact as though it was a question of ideology, and their conduct is not just idiotic,” Turnbull said. “It is downright dangerous. Dangerous for us here in Australia and around the world.” 

Check out this inspiring video and the invitation to educators below that helps support the work of young people.

I hope to see you Tuesday!

Sincerely,

Michael

Dear Colleague,

It is my pleasure to invite you to a new educational opportunity called YouthInFront: Understanding and Supporting Student-Led Activism, a free online learning offering to help educators support youth activism. You are among a special cohort of educators whom we believe would be interested in this opportunity, and have valuable feedback to offer.

If you’re interested in this free online learning offering, click here and answer a brief survey. 

We begin this endeavor on March 4, 2020, with an offering of the pilot Unit 1: Normalizing Student Activism. In this unit, we consider the history and importance of student activism, the rights of students as civic actors, and first steps in supporting youth civic leadership. The pilot is three weeks in length, self-paced, and offered on the CatCat platform. We estimate the amount of effort to be 2-3 hours per week, in addition to the completion of a final assignment. We are pleased to offer a stipend of $75 for those who participate in this pilot fully (completing all videos, readings, discussion, and activities) and complete a feedback survey and/or interview. 

The course is led by Meira Levinson from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Justin Reich from MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab, and Doug Pietrzak from FreshCognate LLC, with contributions from youth leaders, adult allies, and other experts who care deeply about youth activism. The project builds upon an online educational resource called YouthInFront.org, which was developed by volunteer youth and educators to support youth activism following the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida. 

Through documentary cases about youth activism, activities and exercises you can do in your own context, readings and resources, and a supportive online community, you will broaden your understanding of youth activism and learn and practice strategies for supporting youth. 

Thanks in advance for considering this exciting way to learn and engage with fellow educators. Your participation and feedback in this pilot will be invaluable as we continue to build the full course this spring. I hope many of you join us! 

— 

Justin Reich (he/him)

Mitsui Career Development Professor, MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Director, MIT Teaching Systems Lab

Google Scholar | @bjfr | 978-831-3046

Presidents and Meeting Wednesday

Dear Earth Day 2020 Boston Supporters,

I hope you had a great Presidents’ Day. The above image of President Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir, the “Father of the National Parks,” reminded me that protection of the environment is not, and does not have to be, a partisan issue. Republican President Teddy Roosevelt was an avid outdoors person and conservationist, thanks in part to his trip to Yosemite with John Muir in 1903. Richard Nixon proposed and signed into law the establishment of the EPA after the first Earth Day in 1970.

50 years later and two months before the Earth Day 2020 Boston, we are working to make sure that stopping climate change is at the top of the agenda of every politician – Democrat, Republican and Independent. Join us this Wednesday, February 19th at 5:30 pm in the Church of the Covenant at 67 Newbury Street to help make this goal a reality. This must be the year for strong climate action and with your help, we can make it happen.

You can also help us reach our fundraising goal by clicking here. We need your support as we go into the final phase of organizing the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. These donations help us make sure this event pushes our leaders to take action.

If you can’t come on Wednesday, please support our co-sponsors. Many groups have actions in the coming weeks. Please check out their websites for more information.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

Michael

P.S. If you can’t make it in person on Wednesday, but would like to call in, please let me know earthday2020boston@gmail.com.

Lunar New Year, Mass Teachers Association and Next Meeting

Signing up new members at the Lunar New Year Festival sponsored by Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. Welcome to the 25 people who signed up!

This weekend was an excellent weekend for Earth Day 2020 Boston. We had a great afternoon on February 2nd interacting with people during the Lunar New Year Festival sponsored by one of our partners – Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. Besides watching some great performances and sharing food, we connected 25 new people to Earth Day events.

We also earned the endorsement of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the largest union in the state with over 100,000 members. We look forward to working with educators K-12 and throughout the UMASS and community college system to take action for the climate. Our website already has a special section for educators to be connected to committees that focus on curriculum, supporting the youth climate strike movement, collective bargaining and partnerships with other unions.

Join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, February 19th at the Church of the Covenant on Newbury Street at 5:30 pm. Please let us know if you are coming so we can make sure to have enough chairs. (Earthday2020Boston@gmail.com)

Thank you so much for your continued support of our fundraising effort. With your help we can engage more people in climate action.

Michael

Lobby Opportunity

Hello Everyone –

A quick email to make you aware of a lobbying opportunity this coming Tuesday. Mass Power Forward (Sierra Club, 350 MA and others) is holding a lobby day at the State House to push for a clean energy future. If you are not working, check out this link for more information.

Also, please let me know if you can make our January 22 meeting so we can plan for your attendance. Details: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center at 100 Malcolm X Blvd. Roxbury. We will continue to work on our program, fundraising and outreach.

All my best,

Michael

Happy New Year!

The wildfires in Australia have certainly shown that the need for climate action this year is urgent. Join me in redoubling our efforts to call for immediate action – “the Earth is on fire.” The 50th anniversary of Earth Day gives us a unique opportunity to sound the alarm and make our leaders listen to the scientists.

I have written an op-ed that calls for just this kind of action. Please feel free to make comments and suggestions before I send it off to the Boston Globe and other publications later this week. I want it to reflect our hopes for a livable city and planet.

As a result of the great feedback from our last meeting, I’ve made some changes to our draft program. There will be continued edits and revisions as we go forward, so please make comments and suggestions to improve our kick-off event to a week of climate action. You will notice that each section is meant to highlight an issue and hear from one person from each of the groups we are trying to highlight (youth, frontline and faith communities) with artistic portions reflecting these priorities as well. Some speakers are confirmed, but others we need your help in reaching out to inspirational speakers and performers. Thank you to the Boston Vegetarian Society, The New Democracy Coalition and Biodiversity for a Livable Climate for joining us as our newest co-sponsors.

Thanks to Fay Khudairi’s connection, we will be using Hopsie for our fundraising. More information about this will be coming soon, but it is a fantastic platform that will allow individuals to create their own fundraising goals for Earth Day 2020 Boston.

I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on January 22nd at 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center at 100 Malcolm X Blvd. Roxbury. We will continue to work on our program, fundraising and outreach.

In the meantime, the MLK holiday is approaching and there is a wonderful event hosted by the New Democracy Coalition that will recognize leaders in social justice and connect to the principles that MLK fought for and Earth Day 2020 Boston continues to fight for. Information is below. I hope to see you there.

In peace,

Michael

Ideas from our meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our meeting last night and thank you to Church of the Covenant for hosting. We had so many great contributions from everyone. It was inspiring.

More people participated by calling in. Thanks to Phil Chong for taking the picture.

It was inspiring to welcome new co-sponsors like Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell and Quincy Asian Resources Inc. Please see a complete list in the “About Us” section of our website. Below are some general thoughts that came out of the meeting. Formal notes will be available soon.

Earth Day 2020 Boston will be a week of action on climate. The April 18th event will kick-off a week of activities. Other organizations are spearheading a climate strike, voter engagement and direct action. We will support these actions. For the kick-off event, we are considering blocks of four speakers at a time, followed by music. Each speaker will have 3-5 minutes. We will prioritize speakers in each section who are from the communities that we are highlighting – frontline communities, youth, and faith communities. So many parts of the Boston area are vulnerable to sea level rise and/or extreme heat, but the most vulnerable are also low income residents in Boston, Quincy, Chelsea, Revere, East Cambridge and Somerville. Some of the data is available at Climate Ready Boston. We will continue to reach out to people who live and work with these communities.

In addition to highlighting the people who are being impacted by climate change, we will need to help people understand the continuing risk of the first man-made mass extinction of plant and animal species. We hope that the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science and other community organizations will help in this effort. If you have contacts at these institutions, please put us in touch.

We will also be launching a fundraising drive in January. We need to raise $17,000 to pay for staging, equipment and security. There is a subcommittee forming to help out with this. If you have expertise or interest, please let me know.

Our next in-person meeting will be January 22 at 5:30 pm. Please mark your calendars.

If you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa, I wish you happy and healthy celebrations. I am looking forward to working with you in the New Year!

Meeting Reminder

Hello –

A quick reminder about our meeting next Wednesday, December 18th at 5:30 pm at the Church of the Covenant at 67 Newbury Street in Boston. If you haven’t already let me know if you are coming, please so do at earthday2020boston@gmail.com. If you can’t participate in person, but would still like to join us remotely, please let me know and I can set up a call in number.

Our meeting will cover a number of items including fundraising, outreach and event decisions. Between Greta Thunberg being named Time’s Person of the Year, the events at COP25 and the interest in Earth Day 2020 Boston, momentum is continuing to build for strong climate action. Let’s keep building a just and safe future. I hope to see you next Wednesday!

Michael

Next Meeting and Climate Procrastination

Hello Earth Day Boston supporters,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for your participation in our movement and how more people and organizations join us each day. Recent groups to join are Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (C.R.E.W.), Quincy Asian Resources, Inc. (Q.A.R.I.), and Citizens Climate Lobby, Boston. We continue to work to build a diverse group of people and organizations focusing on climate justice and the experiences of frontline communities in this climate crisis.

As thankful as I am about the people in this movement, I remain alarmed at the lack of action by political leaders. According to a new U.N report, emissions have been increasing by about 1.5 percent a year over the past decade. We must now reduce our emissions by almost 8% a year between 2020 and 2030. If you didn’t see the story from the Newshour, it is worth 10 minutes of your time. It will wake you from your post-Thanksgiving food coma.

Once your shock is over, please mark your calendar for our next meeting on December 18th at 5:30 pm at the Church of the Covenant. We will begin making decisions about our plan for the event and hear about the more public phase of our campaign starting in January, 2020. We will also spread a little holiday cheer! This year Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa all neatly stack up next to each other, so there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the season.

One of the things that came out of our national conference call is that Earth Day 2020 will not just be a day. There will be a week of climate action events in Boston and around the world. We will be promoting all of these events in the lead up to our kick-off event on the 18th of April. Strikes, voter registration and other education events will be held. Please let us know if you have heard of an event that we should be publicizing. We need all of our voices!

In the meantime, next week there is another Climate Strike organized by students on December 6th at Copley Square 10:30 am and on December 7th, a musical event called Playing for the Planet that will raise money for 350MA.org.

I hope to see you at our meeting on December 18th at 5:30 pm.

In solidarity,

Michael Kozuch, Earth Day 2020 Boston