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Stuyvesant Students Featured in Vogue for Climate Strike

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Issue 3, Volume 112

By Alice Zhu, Mahir Hossain 

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Fridays for Future hosted a climate strike at Brooklyn Bridge City Hall, with the meeting point at Battery Park on September 24. Numerous speakers, including President Joe Biden’s Environmental Justice Council Advisor Jerome Foster, came to share their stories regarding climate change. Many students who attended the climate strike, including juniors Daria Minhas and Lea Esipov, were featured in Vogue.

Esipov and Minhas were surprised when they learned that their photo had landed on Vogue Magazine’s front cover. “I was like, how did this happen because Vogue has 35 million followers on Instagram and it was just us two on the cover. I felt empowered,” Minhas said.

The climate strike also featured several guest speakers. “The one thing that moved [me] was the indigenous speaker who I cannot remember by name. They sang a song in their native language and it was so heartbreaking thinking of all the oppression and cultural genocide,” Esipov said.

The two frequently attend climate change protests together. “Almost all mass movements in history were started by protests by the people. It really wasn’t the government [t]aking the initiative to change laws to better everyone, so I try my best to go to protests,” Esipov said.

Both felt that attending the climate strike was a powerful experience. “I remember walking through the streets of Manhattan with a poster and a massive group of people. I literally get chills every time I go to a protest because I feel like I’m part of a bigger thing than myself and I’m convinced everyone feels the same way.” Minhas said.

Minhas emphasized general negligence toward the climate crisis. “If we don’t have an environment to be in, nothing really matters besides that,” they said. “As much as you can talk about politics and picking sides and money, it’s irrelevant if we’re being destroyed by our own planet.”

Similarly, Minhas discussed the humanitarian issues that result from climate change, especially for marginalized groups. “Climate change disproportionately affects minority communities everywhere. Not only [will] natural storms from climate change destroy infrastructure, but minorities will also live in neighborhoods that have worse infrastructure than other major cities,” they said.

The two hope that students strive to make an impact, regardless of whether they attend protests or not. “I urge whoever is reading this to participate whenever you can. If you can’t make it to any protests, repost whenever you can, and tell your friends and your neighbors to get involved. There are plenty of organizations that one can join to make an impact,” Esipov said.