Tompkins Youth Rally for their Future
200 local students join Youth Power Summit on April 9 in Ithaca
ITHACA NY — On Saturday April 9, up to 200 young people from across Tompkins County and Central New York will converge in Ithaca for the “Youth Power Summit”, scheduled for 9:30 AM to 5 PM at the Holiday Inn. The summit will educate, energize, and empower high school and college students for a day of strengthening movements for clean energy, local food, and social justice in their schools and communities.
“We are excited to bring together young leaders from all backgrounds calling for bold action to build a clean energy and local food economy that respects all communities.” said Megan Ludgate, Dryden High School junior and member of the summit organizing team. “April 9 is about empowering ourselves to lead this change.”
The summit is free and open to all, and will include lunch, workshops for youth and educators, presentations, and action planning sessions. Key organizers include students of the Lehman Alternative Community School, New Roots, Ithaca High School, Dryden High School, Ithaca College and Cornell University.
“Youth in Tompkins County are coming of age amid increasing crises,” said Jordan Stark, Lehman Alternative Community School senior and member of the organizing team. “When we look around, we see climate change and threats to our water from gas drilling, a lack of jobs and opportunity, and young people struggling to find meaning in our lives. This summit will help us come together to create a better future in our community.”
The summit features a panel of local young elected officials, including Ithaca City Council members Svante Myrick and Eddie Rooker, Tompkins County Legislator Nathan Shinagawa, Caroline Town Councilmember Dominic Frongillo, and Binghamton City Councilmember Lea Webb. The elected leaders will discuss their experiences in office and how young people can engage in the political process.
“We are excited to announce an all-star panel of young elected officials,” said Ariana Shapiro, Ithaca High School senior and member of the organizing team. “These leaders are on the front lines of change and will help inspire other young people to get involved.”
Youth will share updates on campaigns at their school and plan for future efforts. Workshops on local food, social justice, political activism, hydraulic fracturing, and energy efficiency are also planned.
“This summit is about coming together to build a better future for all,” said Dominic Frongillo, Caroline Town Councilmember and Cooperative Extension community energy educator. “We are saying ‘Let’s create equity in our schools. Let’s measure progress not by the number of people in jail, but by the number of people from our community who are hired in good jobs upgrading our homes for energy efficiency. Let’s grow our people as well as our food.’”
The all-day summit will begin with a “Generation Waking Up Experience,” focusing on new ways young people are joining together for positive change.
“Both locally and nationally, young people are waking up and seeing an opportunity to build a thriving, just, and sustainable future that includes everybody,” said Doug Indrick, senior at Ithaca College and member of the “GenUp” facilitator team. “The message on April 9 is youth are building power to create our future.”
The summit is the weekend before 200 students from Tompkins County will attend Power Shift 2011, a national youth summit April 15-18 in Washington D.C. Over 10,000 young leaders will converge for the historic summit, which will include the nation’s largest congressional lobby day. According to the website, the Power Shift 2011 summit aims to “reclaim our democracy from big corporations and push our nation to move beyond dirty energy sources that are harming the health of people and the planet.” Information on the national conference is online at www.powershift2011.org.
“We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for,” said Vicky Morgan, Cornell sophomore and member of KyotoNow! student group. “I have a sense of urgency. We cannot wait another 5 years to address climate change and social justice. I want us to look back and say, at this critical moment, we rose to meet our challenges.”
** Registration for the Youth Power Summit in Ithaca is online at http://tinyurl.com/youthpowersummit. **
For more information about the Youth Power Summit, visit Facebook http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=169766716409303
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ariana Shapiro. <email@example.com>, (607-592-5998);
Jordan Stark, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, (607)220-8226;
Victoria Morgan, <email@example.com>, 786-999-3408;
or Doug Indrick, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 315-415-8046.