- Carys Shepard
Walls Sunrise Chapter Aims to ‘Actually Make a Difference' on Climate
A chalk protest illustration by the Sunrise Club on the terrace / Credits: @sunrisemvmtsww via Instagram
The Sunrise Movement is a youth organization dedicated to fighting climate change. Its main goals are to end the influence of fossil fuel companies on politics and make climate change a political priority by electing similarly minded politicians.
There are currently over 100 factions of the movement, or “Sunrise hubs,” in the United States, including eight in D.C. and the surrounding suburbs. Sophomores Anna Mayer and Zoe Fisher founded Walls’s Sunrise hub in October 2022.
“We are stressed about climate change and Sunrise is a great organization. We want to make as much of an impact as we can,” Mayer said of why they founded the hub.
“We felt like it was the only way to actually make a difference,” Fisher added.
One of the club’s largest projects so far was advocacy for the Green New Deal for Housing Act, a bill proposed by D.C. councilmember and Walls graduate Janeese Lewis George (D-Ward 4). The legislation aims to address the housing crisis in D.C., particularly by providing more environment-friendly, energy-efficient affordable housing.
Explaining how the club contributed, Mayer said, “We basically compiled testimonies of students here about how they support that bill into a video…and then we sent that to the city council.” Fisher said the club worked with Ms. Lewis George herself to “get over 60 students to help make the video.” Although there was a public hearing on the bill in November 2022, the official vote on the Green New Deal for Housing Act has not yet occurred.
The Sunrise Club typically discusses future plans during meetings. “We also talk a lot about events in the world because it’s good to have a space to talk about that because a lot of people don’t,” Mayer said. The group has also drawn chalk messages on the terrace outside as a call to action for Walls students, she added.
Fisher said the Walls hub hopes to work with its counterpart at George Washington University as well as participate in Sunrise-led national programs. “In the coming weeks we’ll be part of [a] training program which will get us connected with people from hubs all over the country,” she said, “and also get to learn hands-on about Sunrise's mission and how we can translate that to our environment.”
The Sunrise Club meets in room 322 on Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. Contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org.