Tompkins Youth Rally for their Future
200 local students join Youth Power Summit on April 9 in Ithaca
On Saturday April 9, up to 200 young people from across Tompkins County
and Central New York will converge in Ithaca for the “Youth Power
Summit”, scheduled for 9:30 AM to 5 PM at the Holiday Inn. The summit
will educate, energize, and empower high school and college students for
a day of strengthening movements for clean energy, local food, and
social justice in their schools and communities.
“We are excited to bring together young leaders from all backgrounds
calling for bold action to build a clean energy and local food economy
that respects all communities.” said Megan Ludgate, Dryden High School
junior and member of the summit organizing team. “April 9 is about
empowering ourselves to lead this change.”
The summit is free and open to all, and will include lunch, workshops
for youth and educators, presentations, and action planning sessions.
Key organizers include students of the Lehman Alternative Community
School, New Roots, Ithaca High School, Dryden High School, Ithaca
College and Cornell University.
“Youth in Tompkins County are coming of age amid increasing crises,”
said Jordan Stark, Lehman Alternative Community School senior and member
of the organizing team. “When we look around, we see climate change
and threats to our water from gas drilling, a lack of jobs and
opportunity, and young people struggling to find meaning in our lives.
This summit will help us come together to create a better future in our
The summit features a panel of local young elected officials, including
Ithaca City Council members Svante Myrick and Eddie Rooker, Tompkins
County Legislator Nathan Shinagawa, Caroline Town Councilmember Dominic
Frongillo, and Binghamton City Councilmember Lea Webb. The elected
leaders will discuss their experiences in office and how young people
can engage in the political process.
“We are excited to announce an all-star panel of young elected
officials,” said Ariana Shapiro, Ithaca High School senior and member of
the organizing team. “These leaders are on the front lines of change
and will help inspire other young people to get involved.”
Youth will share updates on campaigns at their school and plan for
future efforts. Workshops on local food, social justice, political
activism, hydraulic fracturing, and energy efficiency are also planned.
“This summit is about coming together to build a better future for all,”
said Dominic Frongillo, Caroline Town Councilmember and Cooperative
Extension community energy educator. “We are saying ‘Let’s create
equity in our schools. Let’s measure progress not by the number of
people in jail, but by the number of people from our community who are
hired in good jobs upgrading our homes for energy efficiency. Let’s grow
our people as well as our food.’”
The all-day summit will begin with a “Generation Waking Up Experience,”
focusing on new ways young people are joining together for positive change.
“Both locally and nationally, young people are waking up and seeing an
opportunity to build a thriving, just, and sustainable future that
includes everybody,” said Doug Indrick, senior at Ithaca College and
member of the “GenUp” facilitator team. “The message on April 9 is
youth are building power to create our future.”
The summit is the weekend before 200 students from Tompkins County will
attend Power Shift 2011, a national youth summit April 15-18 in
Washington D.C. Over 10,000 young leaders will converge for the historic
summit, which will include the nation’s largest congressional lobby day.
According to the website, the Power Shift 2011 summit aims to “reclaim
our democracy from big corporations and push our nation to move beyond
dirty energy sources that are harming the health of people and the
planet.” Information on the national conference is online at
“We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for,” said Vicky Morgan, Cornell
sophomore and member of KyotoNow! student group. “I have a sense of
urgency. We cannot wait another 5 years to address climate change and
social justice. I want us to look back and say, at this critical
moment, we rose to meet our challenges.”
** Registration for the Youth Power Summit in Ithaca is online at
For more information about the Youth Power Summit, visit Facebook