Don't Teach, Strike! A Call to Educators Worldwide to Take Action for Climate Justice on September 20th

Fellow educators

We invite fellow educators to sign the letter below and to strike and take action for climate justice on Friday, September 20, 2019 in solidarity with students everywhere.  

             -- The Educators' Climate Strike co-founders (signatures below)

Don’t teach: strike. That’s our message to fellow educators who may be asking: “How can I contribute to the fight for climate justice?”

Young people around the world have declared September 20, 2019 an historic day for a global climate strike by all people, young and old. We call on educators worldwide to cancel classes on that day and to contribute to local actions.

Why? Unsustainable development, powered by the fossil-fuel economy, is disrupting our global climate. Through our actions, we humans threaten non-human species, ecosystems, and human societies. Moreover, under rampant global inequality, people who have suffered racial, colonial, and economic marginalization bear the brunt of the damage. Regrettably, our institutions have often been part of the problem. Many sit on Indigenous lands that were taken as precursor to extractivist economies, economies in which some of our institutions still invest.

Thankfully, young people are leading the fight against these global injustices because - this is the good news - they take education seriously. They learn from Indigenous leaders who have long been on the frontlines of the fight for climate justice. They understand the science. They listen to the voices of those pushed to the margins. Around the world, young people - our students - are acting. And they have asked older people to help.

We hope that millions of educators worldwide will commit to act with urgency and solidarity by leaving our classrooms together on September 20. After all, opportunities for learning abound in this unprecedented moment of global action. Let us use the power of collective action to help raise the political will necessary to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge; to learn from and inspire one another; and to support our students and all people as they use their learning to create a sustainable future for all. Above all, let us find ways to focus our collective determination on the global threat that defines this time.

As the new school year begins, we invite teachers everywhere to join us in signing this letter. To strike on Friday, September 20th may be our most important lesson plan.

With hope,

David Pellow, University of California, Santa Barbara
Eban Goodstein, Bard College
Genevieve Guenther, The New School
Giovanna Di Chiro, Swarthmore College
Jon Isham, Middlebury College
Kari Marie Norgaard, University of Oregon
Lee Smithey, Swarthmore College
Michael Mann, Penn State University
Sara Herald, University of Maryland

Signatories' names and institutional affiliations will be updated every 24-48 hours.

Review 829 signatories at

Updated September 21, 2019 at 7:45 p.m. [now closed]

[Photo Credit: Felton Davis [CC BY 2.0 (]]Update

To: Fellow educators
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[See the letter above.]