Santa Monica High School’s Team Marine presents at the California Teachers Association Fossil Fuel Divestment Forum

On January 23, 2021, Team Marine members Catherine Todd and Jackson Yassin presented to a forum at the statewide California Teachers’ Association’s quarterly meeting to inform attendees about why the California State Teacher Retirement System should divest from fossil fuels. They presented alongside representatives from Fossil Free California, the BATS Caucus, who co-sponsored the event, Youth vs. Apocalypse, and several other experts. 

In attendance were California Teachers’ Association state council representatives from around the state who were interested in learning more about reasons for divestment. Throughout the presentation, each presenter brought a different perspective on fossil fuel divestment. Team Marine, having two of three youth presenters, was tasked with expressing the motivation of youth activists worldwide and telling the story of how they passed a divestment resolution unanimously at the Santa Monica Malibu California Teachers’ Association. The environmental and fiscal perspectives were both discussed thoroughly throughout the presentation. Many representatives used the chat function during the presentation to express their support.

At the end of the presentation, there was a question and comment period during which several teachers posed questions regarding the process of passing a resolution in their local California Teachers’ Association. They discussed what teachers could do to continue pressuring the California State Teacher Retirement System (CALSTRS) at a statewide level. The forum ended officially at 7 pm, but numerous people stayed behind for a discussion that lasted for another full 45 minutes. Team Marine was honored to participate in the forum alongside experts and looks forward to collaborating with other activists in the future to achieve our goal of getting CALSTRS to divest from fossil fuels.

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