Lessons through Activism: Balance and Knowing your Audience by Anna Rose Mohr-Almeida
I am Anna Rose Mohr-Almeida.
I am a 15-year-old sophomore IB student at Westwood High School and a climate change activist. Being both of these things can sometimes be stressful. I experience the normal stress of worrying if my grades are good, and honestly, constantly standing on my toes about tests and keeping my grades up require many late nights and early mornings. On top of school and activism, I also have many hobbies: I competitively roller skate three times a week, play the violin and really enjoy making art, especially working with chalk. I make time for what is important to me because these activities help keep me balanced, however, none of these things are as important to me as the climate work I do.
This work usually requires a lot of effort, though it does seem to happen in seasons. I live in Arizona, and the weather often dictates what we can do and when. I can typically tell when it’s going to get busy-- normally January through May. Then, it gets EXTREMELY hot and everyone avoids going outside as much as possible. Protests and activism pick up in October and November. Afterward, during the month of December it’s cold and the holiday season hits. Needless to say that this month is also slow for activism. But, I have learned through my work with many organizations how to deal with how differently things work with each season. I also get to incorporate other things that I love into my experiences with activism. Because I like making art, it is fun work when I make art for protests or demonstrations.
The benefits of activism is that it's fun and it really helps me understand different types of people better so I can communicate about the many important issues we are facing in the world. I have been a part of many organizations throughout my years of activism and each group took on the issue of climate change from a different angle. For example, the organization Moms Clean Air Force raises awareness about the climate by focusing on the issue of increased breathing problems among children, something I can personally relate to. Rain Forest Action Network focuses on biodiversity loss and social justice, so my time and experiences with them help me communicate about these problems. I also work with Sierra Club, another completely unique community, the most conservative of the three, so I have learned how to mostly write about issues for this audience. It feels great, though, that no matter the community, people really care about climate change and are supportive of me speaking out about what matters to me as a young person.