Lena Greenberg Submits Video for SustainUS COP23 Creative Challenge Application

Lena Greenberg is a graduate of the Environmental Studies program at Eugene Lang College (‘16). Since leaving The New School last May, she’s been teaching public school students indoors and outdoors, developing curriculum, and covering lots of ground by bike. This video is part of her application to the SustainUS COP23 Creative Challenge, a process through which young people will be selected to join a youth delegation to this year’s Conference of the Parties in Bonn, Germany.Below is her statement on making the video.This is a story I’ve been meaning to tell for a long time: the story of becoming a human concerned about plants and animals and resources, despite origins in an enormous city with resources abound. Only recently did I begin to comprehend the vast history of colonization and extraction that makes New York City what it is. Urban development and gentrification served as my entry point to understanding capitalism that not only governs cities themselves but every resource that makes them go. Emboldened by this context, I questioned the education I received, and felt obligated to fill this gap. Now, I teach public school students inside and outside, across the city. We tell stories together so that my students are better equipped than I was to question the systems that control the world around them. Although my own explicit focus is on climate justice, this fight is inextricably intertwined with others: economic, racial, gender, justice, among many others. I hope—and have been lucky enough to witness—that these young people feel equipped to join and question these struggles for justice.