Shining a light on climate change


Emma Kim

At the Sunrise Movement Club meeting on Feb. 9, their assignment was writing letters. “We’re going to be writing letters to the Department of Environment and Sustainability, and we’re particularly going to be writing on the issue of bike lanes and bike trails,” Audrey Symon, ‘25, said.

Emma Kim and Maya Sampath

When the new school year began, Sunrise Movement Club was created and its founders were determined to bring WHHS a new way to fight against climate change. The Sunrise Movement is a national organization that is unique from other environmental groups because of its approach to climate change.

“We’re looking at change from the governmental level, particularly in Cincinnati,” Audrey Symon, ’25, co-president of the Sunrise Movement Club, said. “The city government, city council, the mayor all of the different departments that we have.” 

Symon had been part of the National Sunrise Movement for a few years and wanted to bring the movement’s focus, on fighting climate change in ways that create opportunities for young people, to WHHS.

“I think bringing [Sunrise Movement] is really powerful to help the students create change in this community as well because [Sunrise Movement is] all about localizing action,” Symon said.

The movement spreads farther than just the community and creates an outlet for change.

“What’s really neat about Sunrise is it’s a national organization,” Symon said. “There are hubs all across the country, so we’re not the only one, and it’s full of high school leaders just like us who are trying to do the same thing. There’s definitely a mutual sense of connection.” 

Audrey Symon, ‘25, and Sophie Krumm, ‘25, introduce their club. They hope to grow participation in the Sunrise Movement Club. “I definitely want to have as many members as possible and also have a diverse membership,” Symon said. (Maya Sampath)

The Sunrise Movement educates youth about the issue of climate change to express the urgency of solving it.

“A thing that the Sunrise Movement does is that it doesn’t call it climate change but instead the climate crisis because it is an actual crisis,” Audrey Krumm, ‘25, co-president of the Sunrise Movement Club, said.

The club founders also expressed how they hope to have more students from marginalized communities involved which will bring different perspectives.

“Americans who are affected most by climate change are people of lower income, and most of them normally are people who are not white,” Krumm said.

In the future, the club hopes to start its own newsletter to spread awareness.

“We would like to include personal stories and world news on [the] climate [in our newsletter],” Krumm said.

They hope the Sunrise Movement Club will inspire students to educate themselves and take an active role in the climate problem.

“Getting people interested in activism and knowing what to vote on and knowing the policies that we have already is our biggest focus, because if people are educated on climate change then they will act upon it,” Krumm said.