Image courtesy of ISTOCK

By Nicolle Berroa, age 13

April 22 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers had to get creative with their activism. 

A 72-hour online live stream was co-hosted by actor Ed Begley Jr. and his daughter, Hayden Carson Begley, and featured Van Jones, Ziggy Marley, Bill Nye and many more high-profile speakers. 

The theme of this year’s event was “climate action.” Nine youth-led environmental groups, including International Indigenous Youth Council, Sunrise Movement, XR Youth, Earth Uprising and Earth Guardians, coordinated the event.

They demanded a people’s bailout for low-income communities worst hit by COVID-19, that Congress should supply free healthcare for all, paid sick leave and economic relief, adopt a Green New Deal to convert to only renewable energy by 2030, and that all stolen Indigenous and sacred land be given back.