Alex Loorz is a passionate and articulate speaker. He’s also 16 years old, with a resume of activism and community organization that indicates he’s a force to be reckoned with. I first heard Alex speak in October of last year. He told an audience of about 3,000 how he dreamed of a march on May 8, 2011 – the iMatter March – that would engage millions of youth around the world on the issue of climate change.

A day in which these youth would declare that they matter, that their futures matter, and that the leaders of the world need to start acting on their behalf. A day in which kids feel empowered around environmental issues, and learn by taking to the streets that they have a right to be heard. That day is fast approaching. As is Alex’s vision.

I’m one of the community organizers who signed on to organize a march in my hometown of London, Ontario, not exactly a hotbed of activism or environmentalism.

Sure it’s Mother’s Day and I could spend the morning in bed with a cup of tea, buttered scones and a good book (though I’ve never quite experienced a Mother’s Day like that, my friends assure me it’s possible). But I’m a mom of three kids who’s aware that my children will be dealing with the consequences of climate change long after I’m too old to march in the streets. And I want these kids to believe they’re up to the task of reimagining our world.

Having spent many years talking with kids about the environment, I’ve learned that we should be listening to them. They have great ideas. Their ideas make sense, which is more than I can say for our world leaders who keep putting off decisive action until…when, exactly?

They’re the reason I’m working hard – together with a great committee – to give them a platform to be seen and to be heard. To join forces with others to create a movement that will, quite literally, change the world.

Our event will be one of hope and inspiration. We have two great bands playing, including U-Turn, a band made up of 12-year-olds who have been wowing audiences for three years. We have 12-year-old MCs who have thought of little else lately than how to inspire their friends and classmates to take this issue seriously (…and how, perhaps, to get themselves on YouTube).

As Paul Hawken has said about this generation, “What a great time to be alive. Because this generation gets to completely change the world, to reimagine everything.”

It’s a huge responsibility. But these kids are up to it. Join them all around the world on May 8 and watch them change the world. There are three iMatter Marches so far planned for Canada, including Salt Spring Island, Vancouver and London, Ontario. Visit our iMatter March website for more information: http://imattermarch. org/

Leslie Garrett is a national award-winning journalist, author and editor, based near Toronto, Canada. She is the author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World and she has also written a dozen children’s books, including a biography of renowned environmentalist David Suzuki and “EarthSmart”, a book for young children on protecting the environment.

Visit: http://www. virtuousconsumer. com/

Via:www.greenmuze. соm

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