Meet 14-year-old Mary Ellis Stevens, Charlotte's own Greta Thunberg

Our Executive Director Shannon Binns spoke with Charlotte Agenda about Mary Ellis's activism.

By: Katie Peralta (Charlotte Agenda)

For the last 27 Fridays, starting in the cold rain on February 22, 14-year-old activist Mary Ellis Stevens has gone out to protest. Usually it’s in front of the government center Uptown. Frequently she’s alone. Always it’s to strike for climate change.

Some know Stevens as Charlotte’s own Greta Thunberg.

A freshman at Myers Park High School, Stevens is spearheading a local version of a global movement called Fridays for Future.

Typically, a few friends and fellow activists join her. During the September 20 global climate strike, nearly 500 did. Two other teenage climate activists, Lucia Paulsen and Kate Harrison, co-presidents of lead of North Carolina Youth Climate Strike who appeared on Charlotte Talks with Stevens in April, helped organize that protest. Last spring, Paulsen and Harrison received a standing ovation when they addressed a 350-person crowd at Sustain Charlotte’s Sustainability Awards.

For people like Sustain Charlotte founder and executive director Shannon Binns, the youth movement on climate change is a shot of hope. For years, Binns and Sustain Charlotte have been encouraging people to ride bikes, carpool and ride transit to work.

“Those of us who are older, it’s assumed we have an agenda. We’re seen as sort of biased, once we get to a certain age,” say Binns, who is 42. “With these youth, it’s so much more compelling. They don’t have an agenda — other than their own future.”

Read the full article here.

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