Look at the photos and videos of thousands of youth demanding climate change action NOW.

Watch out, world. The kids have shown up—and they are not here for our b.s. excuses.

Last year, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg sat on the steps of Swedish parliament, alone, to protest inaction on climate change. Today, at 16, she is leading hundreds of thousands of youth—and adult supporters—in a global school strike, filling the streets of cities and towns around the world for the same purpose.  

Her singular act of protest has turned into a massive movement of young people who are fed up with politicians and leaders playing Russian roulette with their future. On Friday, March 15, students are leaving school to tell governments that young people want immediate and meaningful action on the global climate crisis.


Thunberg and others have already sat on the steps of parliament buildings every Friday in a #FridaysforFuture movement, trying to urge governments to urgently enact policies that will help stave off accelerated global warming.

Today, that movement took a dramatic leap forward.

You have to see the hundreds of thousands of young people showing up at these rallies to believe it.

As of Friday morning, school strikes and rallies were taking place in more than 2000 locations in 123 countries. Check out these photos and videos pouring in from around the globe:

Several thousand people in New York City, U.S., with more on the way.

10,000+ people demonstrated in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At least 5,000 marched in Helsinki, Finland.

In Milan, Italy, people showed up by the tens of thousands—and even more attended rallies in 200 other locations in Italy alone.

Dublin, Ireland—again, numbers in the thousands.

25,000 students filled the streets of Berlin, Germany.

Are we getting the picture yet? Everyone who said that kids would just be skipping school to skip school were dead wrong.

The idea that kids don't really care about this or aren't educated enough about climate change to know what they're protesting is absurd. Kids learn about science and government in school. Scientists around the globe have made it clear that we have to get rising global temperatures under control or face dire consequences to life on our planet, while governments play political and economic games as they always do.

Kids don't care about such games. They want to inherit a healthy, habitable planet—and they're willing to fight for it.

Like these kids in Cape Town, South Africa:

And in Barcelona, Spain:

Check out the Maori Haka at the school strike at Nelson College, New Zealand.

Maori Haka at the school strike at Nelson College, NZ.Tens, maybe hundreds of thousands students in New Zealand, Australia and East Asia. They are setting the standard high!Latest global update say:2052 places in 123 countries on all continents, including Antarctica. So, the question is:What will you do on March 15 2019? #schoolstrike4climate #FridaysForFuture #climatestrike #WhateverItTakes

Posted by Greta Thunberg on Friday, March 15, 2019

Are you tearing up yet? There's more:

Check out Hong Kong:

And Delhi, India:

And Ottawa, Canada:

And Lisbon, Portugal:

And Madrid, Spain:

This isn't a cute little demonstration; it's a global phenomenon. And it was all started by one teenager who refused to accept leaders' excuses for lack of action on climate change.

Kudos to Greta, for starting such an inspiring worldwide movement. Get out of the way, grown-ups. The youth have arrived to save us all.

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Those of us raising teenagers now didn't grow up with social media. Heck, the vast majority of us didn't even grow up with the internet. But we know how ubiquitous social media, with all of its psychological pitfalls, has become in our own lives, so it's not a big stretch to imagine the incredible impact it can have on our kids during their most self-conscious phase.

Sharing our lives on social media often means sharing the highlights. That's not bad in and of itself, but when all people are seeing is everyone else's highlight reels, it's easy to fall into unhealthy comparisons. As parents, we need to remind our teens not to do that—but we also need to remind them that other people will do that, which is why kindness, empathy, and inclusiveness are so important.

Writer and mother of three teen daughters, Whitney Fleming, shared a beautiful post on Facebook explaining what we need to teach our teenagers about empathy in the age of social media, and how we ourselves can serve as an example.

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