Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sierra Club, Miami Climate Alliance and 40+ Partner Organizations Host Miami Rising

Miami Rising Concert & Rally Draws 1,000+ for the People’s Climate Movement National Day of Action

On Saturday, September 8, Sierra Club Miami, Miami Climate Alliance and more than 40 partner
organizations hosted Miami Rising for Climate Jobs and Justice in solidarity with the People’s
Climate Movement National Day of Action.  Aimed at attracting new volunteers and advocates into the climate movement, the event drew over 1,000 attendees to Bayfront Park in downtown Miami.  The event marks the beginning of the Miami Climate Alliance Miami Rising campaign, which will promote climate advocacy actions in Miami-Dade County for the next six weeks, including events and petitions hosted by Sierra Club Miami.

Using art, music and poetry to create connections, Miami Rising focused on educating South Florida residents about people-centered solutions to climate change and extreme weather and on promoting a just transition to a new 100% clean and renewable energy future. At the event, Sierra Club volunteers organized a solar-powered cell phone charging station and a clean energy raffle wheel trivia game to educate attendees about 100% clean and renewable energy. Volunteers also collected 275 petition signatures asking the City of Miami to commit to a just transition to 100% renewable community-wide energy supply before 2050. Watch a video of the event here.  

Performers and creators helped tell the story of climate, jobs, and justice for our communities;
showing that to change everything, it takes everyone.  Performers included musical artists Soulpax, Remyz, Locos por Juana, and Ra Ra Roots Rasin, and spoken word artists included Dita Devi, Michealango 305, and Sebastian.  Visual artists created murals, paintings and works dedicated to the themes of climate, jobs and justice.  Interactive displays also helped participants connect to the issues, like a virtual reality Everglades canoe experience from Paradise Key Media. 

To generate excitement and drive attendance, partner organizations placed op-eds and hosted Miami Rising lead-up events, including four climate forums, a Battle of the Bands event, a live art competition and series of volunteer trainings.  Now until November 15, Miami Rising attendees and volunteers will be invited to participate in a series of actions and events, including Sierra Club gatherings and online petitions. Check out the campaign at MiamiRising.org.

Speakers at the event focused on the urgency to act on climate, jobs and justice, illustrating the issues with personal stories. Among the 14 speakers were Sierra Club Organizer and Miami Climate Alliance Steering Committee Chair Emily Gorman, SEIU 1199 Vice-President Dequasia Canales, WeCount member Sergio Maldonado, Executive Director of FANM Haitian Women of Miami Marleine Bastien, Founder of Make the Homeless Smile Valencia Gunder, and Valholly Roff Frank, the 15-year-old plaintiff in Our Children’s Trust lawsuit against Governor Rick Scott and State of Florida.

Sponsors and partner organizations included: Sierra Club, The Miami Climate Alliance, The CLEO Institute, FANM Haitian Women of Miami, 350 South Florida, New Florida Majority, 1199 SEIU, Peoples Climate Movement, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Demos, Life Is Art, and the Center for Climate Integrity, AFSCME, Blackbird Communications, Catalyst Miami, Engage Miami, Florida Student Power Network, Life Is Art, Miami Workers Center, MoveOn.org, National Latina Institute, NextGen America, Progressive Caucus of Miami Dade, Progressive Jewish Action, Rethink Energy, Sachamama, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, South Florida AFL-CIO, South Florida Resilience System, Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida, United Teachers of Dade, Unite Here, We Count!, Women's March Miami, and the  South Florida Workers Rise for Climate Justice Coalition