Mary J. Blige
Singer Mary J. Blige performs on National Mall During Earth Day 2015. (Courtesy photo)

The Earth Day Network plans to launch a global initiative on April 22 that officials say kicks off a three-year campaign for environmental and climate literacy.

The campaign’s focus will be on promoting mandatory environmental and climate literacy along with civic engagement and sustainable economic development, organizers said.

“We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet,” Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, said in a statement.

This year, Earth Day will see teach-ins around the world and a march for science rally on the National Mall that will bring together scientists and supporters to demand that leaders recognize the scientific truths across all disciplines, including climate change and other environmental issues, Rogers said.

“Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs,” she said.

Climate science literacy counts as an understanding of society’s influence on climate and vice versa, according to officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A climate-literate individual understands the essential principles of earth’s climate system; knows how to access scientifically credible information about climate; communicates about climate and climate change in a meaningful way; and has the ability to make informed and responsible decisions in regard to actions that may affect climate, NOAA officials said.

Using the teach-in concept deployed at the first Earth Day in 1970, this year’s observance will build an international movement with goals that organizers say include educating citizens about the environmental and climate issues they face and creating a world that both internalizes environmental values and develops sustainable communities.

“As we face the realities of climate change — unpredictable temperatures, endangered species and an increasing number of severe weather events — ensuring that our children are prepared to become environmentally literate citizens is more essential than ever,” said Earth Day Director Dan Abrams.

Further, officials noted that Earth Day Network, the largest recruiter to the environment movement which works year-round to support civic action, plans to launch a campaign for global environmental and climate literacy by Earth Day 2020.

Rogers said they’re dedicated to ensuring that every student around the world graduates from high school as an environmental and climate literate citizen — ready to take action and be a voice for change.

“2017 is an historic year for activists all over the world who are uniting to promote climate and environmental literacy and activism with more than 1 billion people participating each year,” she said. “This year’s D.C. rally and teach-in, along with activities across the world, will kick off a week of action throughout local communities to support science across all disciplines,” she said.

To learn more about Earth Day Network and the march for science, visit

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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