Climate Champion, Sophia Mathur, Citizenkid- “Earth Comes First”, Kids Can Press & Citizen Kid Books Collection!
Climate Champ–Sophia Mathur, CitizenKid- “Earth Comes First”, Citizen Kid Books Collection!
CLIMATE CHAMPION, SOPHIA MATHUR
That Sophia Mathur, age 14, is a climate activist is perhaps no surprise, given her family background. Her grandfather was a scientist with IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), her mother is an environmental lobbyist, and her father is a physician who researches how to reduce the carbon footprint in the Health Sector. Inspired by her family, Sophia began lobbying politicians around environmental issues at age seven. AGE SEVEN!
She has gone to the Canadian Parliament and US Congress with Citizens Climate Lobby, who changed their age restrictions to allow her to participate. She successfully lobbied the City of Greater Sudbury to declare a climate emergency, and urged Canadian Ministers to adopt carbon pricing. Currently, Sophia is the lead youth plaintiff in an Ecojustice lawsuit against the Ontario government under Premier Doug Ford, for weakening Ontario’s 2030 climate target. She has been awarded the reThink Green youth sustainability award, and was one of four kids featured in the documentary CitizenKid: Earth Comes First which aired nationally on YTV and at the United Nations Film Festival in 2020. She was also thrilled to be included in David Suzuki’s Nature of Things: Rebellion episode. That aired in late 2020. Check out the link in our Deeper Dive Section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes to stream it.
Why does Sophia Mathur matter to us? As she says, “My goal is to create the political will to enact science-based policies to solve the climate crises. I utilize these platforms to raise awareness about climate change and to demand action and policies from all levels of government. I ask politicians to listen to the experts and cooperate to protect the future of this amazing planet.” Mathur is also a 2021 Eco-Hero.
CITIZENKID: “EARTH COMES FIRST”
In CitizenKid: Earth Comes First, four Canadian youth activists, Hannah Alper, Sophia Mathur, Charlene Rocha and Cooper Price set out to show how people can change the world no matter their age. They journey to Toronto, Ottawa, Washington DC and beyond, to engage with government leaders, fellow climate activists and to learn from an Indigenous Elder. Through images, words, performance and social media, these activists share their experiences with other young people, extending the conversation beyond the screen to spark real action in response to the global climate crisis.
The 23-minute documentary was produced by White Pine Pictures and Stephen Paniccia, directed by Stefan Scaini. It was official selection of both the Transitions Film Festival, 2021 and the UNAFF International Documentary Film Festival, 2020. The movie was inspired by the CitizenKid book collection published by Kids Can Press. Part informational, part inspirational and part call-to-action, CitizenKid: Earth Comes First is a documentary that will inspire young people around the world to put Earth first, according to the producers.
The movie seems to be available on Amazon Prime. Unfortunately, I can’t stream it because “This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location.” In other words, it’s geo-fenced!!!! Maybe you’ll have better luck in your part of the world. I’m hoping the folks at White Pine Pictures can make it for sale or rent from their own site. I’d do it in a minute. I did watch the trailer, and so can you by searching for Citizenkid: Earth Comes First, or by clicking on the links in the Deeper Dive section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.
KIDS CAN PRESS & CITIZEN KID BOOKS
If you believe change can happen one kid at a time, then you will surely enjoy the Citizen Kid book collection. It’s a collection of books that inform children about global issues and inspire them to be better citizens. Citizen Kid is more than just books. The website also contains videos and teaching guides. All material is available for use, with written permission from Kids Can Press. There are 24 book themes, ranging from Activism to climate to food security to sustainability. The videos are of many of the books in the collection, including Tree of Life, This Child Every Child and If the World Were a Village.
Citizen Kid also has a Media section, featuring biographical videos of climate champions like Dr. Janet Gonzalez, Carmen Oliver, Katy Dockrill, and David J. Smith. Why does Citizen Kid Books matter to us? These couple of dozen or more books provide age-appropriate ways for young children to learn about climate change. More importantly, how to become responsible global citizens and stewards of the planet.
DEEPER DIVE: CitizenKid Books