13 Aug August Member of the Month: Hallie Turner
Written by Hallie Turner |
I became passionate about climate justice at a pretty young age. I was in fourth grade when I was first inspired to take action against the climate crisis. At my local library I picked up a book called “An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming” by Al Gore. I had heard of the climate crisis, but I didn’t understand it. I was just a bored kid looking for something to read over the summer. I didn’t know at the time how Gore’s book (and, by extension, the issue) would bring me to discover an organization called iMatter, and the campaign iMatterNow.
I didn’t understand most of the issue as a fourth grader. I was pretty naïve, and I didn’t know who Al Gore was. But I was tremendously inspired by his words, and I did know that I wanted to get involved. Gradually, I asked myself more and more questions. How was it that I had never heard of this crisis before? Why were people still denying science? How could someone see the facts in “An Inconvenient Truth” and all the other research and still refuse to act? Why did some people not get that things needed to change? Most importantly, I wanted to know what I could do to get involved.
iMatter has given me a way for my voice to be heard. From the beginning I wanted to inspire other youth like me and I wanted leaders to listen to us. Through iMatter, I was given opportunities to get involved in ways that I would never have had without it. I have met with my mayor, exchanged letters with the president, written many blog posts, and given speeches in my community. I organized a rally in Raleigh, NC, in September of 2013, in partnership with other passionate youth and adults in my area. We wrote a Declaration of Support for Climate Justice for people to sign, we had music and crafts, and we marched around the North Carolina Capitol. Nearly 300 people came, and it was an incredible experience. Since then, I have been working as a plaintiff in a lawsuit to hold my state accountable for protecting our atmosphere. All of these things are things I couldn’t have done without iMatter. My goal is to inspire other youth in the same way I was inspired by Al Gore.
One thing that I’ve learned from iMatter, and from my activism in general, is that we will all have to deal with the consequences of decisions made today. As the ones who will inherit this planet, youth have the moral responsibility to demand and create a sustainable, just future for each other and for generations to come. By fighting for climate justice, we are fighting for our futures.