“Dear Climate, You’ve Changed”: Whitman’s Fridays for Future club protests climate change on Earth Day


Abby Ikenson

A protester holds a sign with the words “Dear Climate, You’ve Changed” at the “End the Era of Fossil Fuels” event on Saturday.

By Abby Ikenson

Whitman’s Fridays for Future club protested at the “End the Era of Fossil Fuels” event in Washington D.C. to celebrate Earth Day and raise awareness for climate change on April 22.

The day-long event started with a youth rally against climate change led by teenagers from across the DMV area. The teen protestors marched from Freedom Plaza to the White House and demanded action for the preservation of the environment. Richard Montgomery High School freshman Rosie Clemans-Cope attended the event and said she feels entrenched in the fight for the environment. 

“We have to fight for climate justice,” she said. “I’ve gotten arrested demanding a local Green New Deal — because power concedes nothing without a demand.”

End the Era, an environmental movement run by a variety of youth-led and non-profit organizations, hosted the rally to educate the public about climate change. The movement primarily aims to combat the negative impact of the burning of fossil fuels on the environment. Speakers at the rally discussed the dangers the planet is facing, including Clemans-Cope, who gave a detailed speech about the harmful effects of fossil fuels.

“Scientists say that we only have about seven years left to get our carbon emissions on track,” Clemans-Cope said. “By 2030, we have to slash our carbon emissions in half, and by 2050, we have to end all fossil fuels — coal, oil, and gas.”

Several Fridays for Future club chapters throughout MCPS helped organize and attend the event. Whitman’s chapter is co-led by freshmen Julia Reitman and Abigail Dickey. The club focuses on reducing waste while also conserving resources and giving back to the community. The club frequently reaches out to climate organizations, attends protests and attempts to limit personal waste. Reitman and Dickey said their passion for climate activism stemmed from attending elementary school club walk-outs every week. Dickey is also influenced by environmental activist Greta Thunberg, she said.

“She marches out and doesn’t go to school every Friday to protest,” Dickey said. “She’s a good role model for activism.” 

Thunberg’s Friday ritual also inspired the club’s name: Fridays for Future. 

Reitman and Dickey hope Fridays for Future continues to educate others, raise awareness for climate change and gain the attention of Whitman students. 

“The main point is that we want a livable future,” Reitman said. “We want to save [the] future for future generations.”


For more information on Whitman’s Fridays for Future club, visit @fridaysforfuture.dc on Instagram.