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Over 35 Supporter Guidelines

How To Help Youth Climate Activists

We are extremely thankful for the support of people that are older than 35 and their enthusiasm to help youth climate activists. Sunrise is filling a cultural gap for young people in the movement. We have grown up knowing that the stable climate that human civilization has depended on for millennia could crumble within our lifetimes. Yet, we’ve seen political leaders continue to fail us, often laughing us off or calling us young and naïve. That’s been deeply discouraging for many of us. In our society, there aren’t many spaces that trust and uplift the leadership of young people. Young people were searching for a space that would not only allow them to organize but would also give them the community they were searching for. Our youth-centered focus makes sure that we are building a community and an identity— vital ingredients to keep a movement together. 

That being said, we still need the support of all of you! We love the enthusiasm you’ve shown and appreciate the organizing that you’ve already done to help get us to this point!

How to Help Youth Climate Activists

1. Support the Sunrise Movement through a donation

You can directly support our work across the movement through a monthly donation that will help us win a Green New Deal. We need your support to win political races across the country, grow our base, and stage political actions.

2. Consider Joining Our Sister Movement

Our sister movement Arm in Arm is “organizing our communities to ignite a transformational era that ends the climate crisis by centering economic and racial justice.” Arm in Arm can be a powerful organizing home for 35+ supporters.

They aim to build toward a massive decentralized escalated action through 2023, including calling for mass work stoppages and boycotts when the moment is ripe. The structure is a distributed organizing model with autonomous hubs and existing organizational supporters. Anyone can start a hub with two other members of their community. 

Follow Our 35+ Principles

  • We respect the value of a youth-led movement. While we all have much to lose to climate change, young people are the ones that will face the consequences of our actions today and should be at the forefront of our movement. Young people need youth-led and youth-centered spaces to come into their own as leaders, find their voices and to learn from one another. We trust the knowledge and skills that youth bring to our collective fight and follow their leadership as allies. 
  • We are guides/supports, rather than leaders. We understand that local and national leadership roles at Sunrise will be held by young people, and we are allies and supporters.  We keep the space open for the voices of our youth leaders before we share our own. Our life experiences are valuable and add significant value to the movement but shouldn’t take precedence over the ideas and thoughts of our youth members.
  • We are Americans from all walks of life. We are people of all ages coming together for our future and appreciate that some members have many years of organizing experience and others are organizing for the first time. We respect what everyone brings and listen to everyone’s experience. 

Check out Sunrise’s Principles

Practical Tips on How to Help Climate Youth Activists

  • Talk to youth leaders about what support they need. Don’t assume what information or skills are needed, ask youth leaders how adult members can best help them and how adult members can best show up in youth-led organizing spaces.
  • Be aware of adultism. Adultism is the negative stereotyping of young people. We all have implicit biases, and it’s important for us to be aware of them before we speak. When you see it, take a stand against it with care and respect.
  • Speaking order. Leaving space for youth members to share their ideas first is a great way to support youth leadership. 

Stay in the “now.” We celebrate the accomplishments of all activists of whatever age and value learnings from the past, but spending time recounting work from the distant past (outside of designated spaces) uses precious time we need to focus on what is happening now and in the future.


Here are some concrete roles that Sunrise’s 35+ Supporters can step into (note: this is not a complete list but a good place to start):

  • Help with fundraising: We’re a grassroots movement, and we always need more resources to continue our growth! 
  •  Amplify Sunrise’s message on social media: We have a team of digital amplifiers, ready to share our message across social media platforms— help us get the word out. 
  • Provide meeting space + housing: If you live somewhere that could be a meeting space, or if you can host people during gatherings and trainings, let us know.
  • Show up at Sunrise actions: We need everyone we can get at our actions— no matter your age. Show up, and be sure to uplift and center the leadership of the young people around you.
  • Utilize your network: Maybe you have connections to an editor of a newspaper, a celebrity influencer or politicians. Maybe you have friends who can donate, or cook for the movement, or want to show up. We’d love it if you could use your network to help Sunrise.
  • Show up as an ally at local Hub meetings/events: Help out with your local organizing efforts, while being sure to check-in with and follow the lead of the young people who are in leadership roles in your area’s Hub.

Please contact [email protected] with any questions about our 35+ Supporter Guidelines.