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Sunrise Movement Co-Founder to Discuss Climate Crisis and Activism at Dickinson College

Varshini Prakash

Varshini Prakash

Stopping the Climate Crisis: The Time to Act is Now

Dickinson will host a lecture by Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of Sunrise Movement, a grassroots organization of young people working to stop climate change. The presentation, “Stopping the Climate Crisis: The Time to Act is Now,” will take place Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter (ATS) Auditorium. It is free and open to the public. Face coverings are required. The event will also be available via livestream.

Prakash will share stories of young people focused on ending catastrophic climate change, bringing people together to form a growing movement for climate activism and realizing change through grassroots organizing and political action. She will discuss how out of these stories and Sunrise Movement successes emerge lessons for scaling up action for greater and faster impact.

Prakash is the 2021 recipient of The Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism. The $100,000 prize is given annually to an individual or organization that makes a defining difference and advances responsible action on behalf of the planet, its resources and people. Prakash will be on campus for a three-day residency to help students prepare to combat climate change and restore the natural world.

Prakash and a handful of like-minded activists launched Sunrise Movement in 2017, focusing on growth through grassroots organizing and political action with candidate endorsements. The group gained recognition and support after it organized a sit-in at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol Hill office in 2018 with the backing of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Now one of the largest youth movements in the country, Sunrise is leading the charge for the Green New Deal, a constellation of public policy proposals to address climate change while creating jobs and reducing economic inequality. Prakash has used her growing public profile to tirelessly advocate for Sunrise’s principles. Her work has been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC News, MSNBC and many other outlets.

Prakash joins a distinguished group of prior recipients of the Rose-Walters Prize, including the award-winning actor and activist Mark Ruffalo; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert; Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson; award-winning nature photographer James Balog; author and journalist Bill McKibben; and Armond Cohen, founder and executive director of the Clean Air Task Force. Additionally, the prize has been awarded to institutions including the Natural Resources Defense Council and Our Children’s Trust, the advocacy organization that represented 21 young plaintiffs in the landmark federal climate change lawsuit Juliana v. United States.


Published October 19, 2021