PGC 2018 Finals
I took the stage to speak about climate change — because we cannot ignore the harsh reality any longer, when our lives, communities and world are affected by its devastating consequences right here, right now. 🌎 Each year, we host our Turning Green Project Green Challenge Finals in the Bay Area — and each year, we take an iconic photograph of the students in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in head-to-toe eco outfits. This year, we did the same… with the necessary masks on their faces and bridge barely visible because of smoke from the Camp Fire, as you see on the slide behind me. Climate change is not something that may hit us centuries, generations, decades or even years from now; its catastrophic seen and unseen impacts are already upon us as local and global societies. Wake up. Speak up. Join up. Rise up.
My favorite weekend of the year filled me with the hope I need. 🙏🏾 Our Turning Green Project Green Challenge Finalists are among the most remarkable group of global changemakers I have ever had the privilege of knowing — high school and college students who champion sustainability with clear passion, depth of commitment and proactive spirit around environmental and social justice locally and globally. I am proud that our now-8-year-old digital program (and 15-year-old grassroots non-profit organization!) educates, inspires, mobilizes and further develops the skills, intellect, knowledge and collaborative nature of a generation of powerful, diverse activists.
After 30 days of Project Green Challenge, where thousands of young people completed rigorous daily challenges around wide-ranging sustainability-related themes and acted upon a common passion for cultivating a healthy, just, thriving planet, 13 students were selected as PGC Finalists from 6,012 participants representing 742 high school and college campuses in the United States and 55 nations around the world. These young leaders came to the San Francisco Bay Area for our #PGC2018 Finals, a weekend of inspiration, education and mobilization including farm visits, documentary screenings, FLOSN food and eco fashion workshops, speeches by luminaries, action platform creation and much more. Bravo to 16-year-old PGC 2018 Champion Lara from Indiana, Runner Up Aradhya from Bopal, India, and Third Place Sophia from Newark. Our communities, global societies, institutions, systems and earth need all of us to commit now more than ever!