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About 50 middle and high school students who work with Youth Vs Apocalypse to encourage activism to slow climate change gathered in front of city hall in Oakland on Saturday to paint murals, perform, make banners and share information about the climate and social justice.
Aniya Butler, 15, one of two youth leaders who organized the “Movement Art Celebration” with support from education coordinator Carolyn Norr of Oakland-based Youth Vs Apocalypse, said itis important for activists to stay positive and celebrate even as they address overwhelming issues.
Butler, who will start her sophomore year at Oakland Charter School in August, said the teenage participants came from San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and other parts of the Bay Area. The event’s themes included divestment from fossil fuels, racial equity and police reform, as well as climate policy, and Butler coordinated hip hop and rap contributions.
The group shot photos and footage that will be incorporated in a video they plan to release this week to promote a regional Climate Strike youth organizers are planning for Sept. 20, Butler said.
She applied for and won a $10,000 grant to cover supplies and equipment and pay for the participation of several artists and other professionals at Saturday’s event.