February 25, 2022 | ACTIVE LIFE | By Alexis Cornachio

The Sunrise Movement Book Club at Colorado College is kicking off their semester read with “Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can” edited by Varshini Prakash, one of the co-founders of the movement itself.

The book features a collection of essays written from unique perspectives, such as leading activists, journalists, and policymakers who all advocate for the Green New Deal and climate justice. I talked with Leyla Kramarsky ’24, the leader of the Sunrise Book Club, about the importance of literature and perspective within the movement.

“The first step in getting involved in this work is learning,” Kramarsky said. “I think that if you consider yourself an informed citizen or student or like a person who cares about social justice and climate justice, it is your duty to do what you can to educate yourself. This is a super easy, fun, structured way to do that.”

Many young people resonate with this powerless feeling when considering the climate crisis. A fundamental aspect of the Sunrise Movement is to give young people some power back in advocating for climate and social justice within a movement that is led by young activists and leaders.

“It feels really easy to find a place in the movement because it feels really accessible. The people who are in charge are our age,” said Kramarsky.

The movement as a whole brings in a diverse range of perspectives on climate activism that have often been left out of climate change education.

“I feel like learning about climate change in an academic setting, I think that the voices are often really similar. It’s really cool to get the perspective of young people.” said Kramarsky.

The Sunrise Movement chapter at CC offers a structured space for students to work and advocate for climate justice within the local Colorado Springs community. The book club offers an accessible ‘in’ for students to start getting involved.

The book club will provide students with a way to process emotions surrounding climate stress, while also getting informed and involved within a movement. The club is going to meet once a week and talk about what they read throughout that week.

“It’s a really productive way to take action and take control of your own stress and take an active role in something that I think can feel fruitless and looming,” said Kramarsky. “It’ll be fun and social, and everyone will have an incredible time learning, growing, and socializing.”

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