People attend the Friday’s For Future global climate strike with signs to promote climate change awareness on Sept. 24, 2021. The strike theme at Payrow Plaza, Bethlehem, is #UprootTheSystem and it invites people to discuss climate change to grow its awareness. (Leo Liu/B&W Staff)

Lehigh students participate in global climate strike with Friday’s For Future


“Friday’s For Future” hosted a global climate strike Sept. 24 in Bethlehem, as part of an international movement of students who plan to skip classes on that day to advocate for climate justice. 

Students and community members across the city of Bethlehem gathered with various signs advocating for climate justice. Speakers talked about why climate change is important to them and how persistent environmental problems of our time can be fixed. 

The organization was started by climate activist Greta Thunberg in 2018. This past strike, which took place in 99 countries around the world, was the first coordinated global climate action since the start of the pandemic. 

The event drew speakers from various environmental organizations throughout the state of Pennsylvania such as Pennenvironment, the Lehigh Valley chapter of the Climate Reality Project, All Together Now and many more. 

Lehigh University professor Jill Schneider gives a talk at the Friday’s For Future Global Climate Strike on Sept. 24. The strike theme was #UprootTheSystem and invited people to discuss climate change to raise awareness. (Leo Liu/B&W Staff)

Cathy Bailey, a member of the Lehigh Valley Greenfaith Circle, told The Brown and White why the global climate strike is important to her. 

“I am a person of faith and believe that God has given us this beautiful planet and it is our job to take care of it,” Bailey said. “We have not done a great job of this so far. I am just trying to make up for some of the damage we have created by being present and supporting others who are trying to prevent climate change.” 

Many students from Lehigh attended the event to support the fight against climate change. 

Ben Delin, ‘21,’23G, a member of the environmental policy master’s program at Lehigh, said with COVID-19, many environmental issues which are already underpublicized were put on the backburner.  

“By people coming out like this, there may not be a huge crowd compared to what you might see in NYC or Philly, but through this event we are getting the word out and showing support,” Delin said. 

John Gallagher, left, Marilyn Georgia, right, represents the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and promots a carbon emission tax at the Friday’s For Future global climate strike on Sept. 24, 2021. At Payrow Plaza, Bethlehem, numerous organizations present and promote the types of climate change and actions needed to combat it. (Leo Liu/B&W Staff)

Another graduate student in the environmental policy master’s program, Morgan Tietz, ’20,’23G, said it was great to see Lehigh students attend the climate strike. 

“I think it’s great that young people are coming out and making their voices heard, especially all the Lehigh students coming out here,” Tietz said. “These are the next people that are going to be graduating and getting jobs and advocating for climate justice and I think this is very encouraging.” 

Harley Cooper, left, Heather Sheldon, right, attend the Friday’s For Future global climate strike on Sept. 24, 2021. In Payrow Plaza, Bethlehem, Friday’s For Future hosts a public global climate strike with the theme #UprootTheSystem. (Leo Liu/B&W Staff)

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