At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us how to behave in the world. You teach us not to fight with others, to work things out, to respect others, to clean up our mess, not to hurt other creatures, to share, not be greedy. Then,why do you go out and do — do the things you tell us not to do? Do not forget why you are attending these conferences — who you're doing this for. We are your own children. You are deciding what kind of a world we are growing up in.
Severn Suzuki’s speech at the United Nations, 1992.
Youth are organizing because so many of us have failed them; they are organized because so many of us have served them well. We have taught their civics and history classes, advised Gay Straight Alliances, Civil Rights Teams, Environmental Groups, Feminist Clubs; we have created nonprofits with their critical consciousness and empowerment in mind. [...] This is an awakening.
“This Is An Awakening: The Power of Youth Activism”, Lyn Mikel Brown, BeaconBroadside.com, 2018.
Do you think combating climate change is particularly important for kids and young adults?
Definitely. Our generation [has] contributed the least to this problem but we’ll feel its effects the most. It’s really shameful for past generations and those in power right now that they have allowed this negligence for their children and their grandchildren. Youths right now are threatened with food insecurity, sicknesses, depleting water sources and coast erosion. We will feel the effects of climate change for the longest as the youngest generation alive today.
“Kids versus Fossil Fuels: A Chat with a Teenage Activist”, interview of Kelsey Juliana by Jennifer Hackett, ScientificAmerican.com, 2016.