Our Strategic Vision

Information on the Sept. 20 Youth Climate Strike

Message sent to Upper School Families on Sept. 10

As you may know, next Friday 20 September, there will be a youth-led Global Climate Strike. Young people throughout New York City, across the United States, and around the world will walk out of their schools to call attention to the global climate crisis. Three days before the United Nations convenes the next Climate Summit, young people are demanding meaningful action by governments and policymakers. The strike will take place in over 200 countries, and over 6,000 people have already pledged to take part. Youth leaders, including our own student environmental justice leaders from the Upper School, are calling on people of all ages to join them.  

We recognize that many of our students are moved to take part in this strike and other political protests. We anticipate that some members of our student body will decide to join in this action. These students plan to leave the Lawrence Street campus at 10:50 am. The students plan to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and meet other climate strike participants in Foley Square. 

It is also important to note that the Global Climate Strike is neither a school-sanctioned nor school-sponsored event; the event will not be chaperoned by Brooklyn Friends School. BFS does not assume responsibility for any student who attends the Climate Strike. Please discuss with your child their intention to participate in the Global Climate Strike. 

If you know your child intends to participate, please complete the Upper School Attendance form.. The Upper School will follow the usual attendance procedures as outlined in the US Student/Family Handbook. Upper School classes will run as regularly scheduled throughout the day.

If the attendance form is not completed by you, and your child chooses to leave school, your child’s leave will be considered an unexcused absence. If you complete the form, your child’s absence will be considered excused. Students who choose to remain at school will follow their regular academic schedule.

Please note that students will receive the letter here from a BFS student organizer who is engaging in the Global Climate Strike as a part of his CAS project. The student’s CAS project is focused on the climate justice movement. CAS is Creativity, Activity, Service, and it is an extension of the Service Learning and Civic Engagement program in the Upper School. 

Kind regards,

Lisa Arrastia, Head of Upper School

Pete Prince, Interim Assistant Head of Upper School

Natania Kremer, Director of Service Learning & Civic Engagement

Otto Moran, Grade 12 Student Environmental Justice Organizer

Message sent to BFS Colleagues:

As you may know, next Friday, September 20th, there will be a youth-led Global Climate Strike. Young people throughout New York City, across the United States, and around the world will be walking out of their schools to call attention to the global climate crisis. Three days before the United Nations convenes the next Climate Summit, young people are demanding meaningful action by governments and policy makers. The strike will take place in over 200 countries, and over 6,000 people have already pledged to take part. Youth leaders are calling on people of all ages to join them! 

We are incredibly proud of Brooklyn Friends 12th Grader Otto Moran who joined the local chapter of Fridays For Future and is taking the lead on mobilizing members of our community to participate in the strike on September 20th. This will be Otto’s Creativity Activity Service (C.A.S.) project and he is also collaborating with 12th graders Milly Berman and Lily Edelman who co-lead our Upper School Environmental Action group. Together, they will be planning ongoing environmental justice actions throughout the school year. 


Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist whose Fridays For Future school walkout campaign has mobilized hundreds of thousands of youth all over the world, arrived by boat in New York City on August 28th​. ​Thunberg released this video promoting the upcoming actions. “Everyone should mobilize for the 20th of September,” said Thunberg, “because this is a global issue which actually affects everyone.”

Otto shared the following in his letter to BFS Upper School students:

“On September 20th we invite you to strike for your climate. Global South, indigenous, and frontline communities are already experiencing the devastating consequences of global warming. Many believe that Hurricane Dorian was only the most recent catastrophe in a pattern of increasingly severe and frequent natural disasters. The corporations and governments who profit from the destruction of our climate were not among the victims of the hurricane. The people whom they exploit were. As Dorian hit, the people of the Caribbean, Bahamas and Southern U.S., had no choice but to weather the storm in terror. 


As students at Brooklyn Friends, we do have a choice. We have a right to education but we also have a duty to make our voices heard. We cannot wait until we can vote, work, or hold office to make good on this duty. Forfeiting the right to attend class is a sacrifice and one which should not be made lightly. But when made, that sacrifice is formidable. It has the potential––when made by thousands of students from hundreds of schools, joined by thousands more teachers, parents, and other adults––to rescue our imperiled future.    This choice will present itself on the 20th. In advance of the UN Climate Summit on Sept. 23rd, students across the city (and the world) have determined to protest the negligence of world leaders in the face of our climate crisis. Participating BFS students will gather in the lobby at 10:50

Resources for Families provided by BFS parents:


Join Us for the Global Climate Strike!
September 20th @ 12:30pm

On September 20, people of all ages across the globe will walk out of their jobs, homes and classes to demand real climate action. Though there are hundreds of strikes planned, the climate strike and march in New York City is especially critical, as the eyes of the world will be on us in advance of the UN Climate Summit taking place here on Sept. 23. We need to turn out a HUGE crowd to show the world – and, in particular, the political and business leaders gathered here for the Summit – that we want them to take bold, urgent, and equitable action on this crisis… and if they won’t do it, they need to get out of the way.

Join 350Brooklyn Families and Sunrise Kids NYC to march with a friendly and fun group of kids and families!  We will meet at 12:30pm in the playground in Columbus Park (55 Mulberry Street) for our own kid-friendly rally, then head to Foley Square, where the march kicks off. March all the way to Battery Park with us or peel off early whenever your kids have had enough.

If you’d like to march with us, please send us an email at so we can keep you posted on the plan!

And if you’re looking for materials to help spread the word about the strike within your community, check out this toolkit directed at parents and schools from our friends at Peoples Climate Movement – NY!

Have you been to an art-build?

This weekend you and your kids can make signs, banners, and silkscreens for the climate strike…with free art supplies and staffed work areas! Plus there will be speakers, music and more.  All ages welcome! (More info here).
WHEN: Sept. 14 and 15, 12-6pm
WHERE: Thomas Green Playground, Gowanus (3rd Ave and Degraw St). Near R train, Union Station.

Family Climate Workshop in Central Park
September 21st, 1-5pm

The day after the climate strike, families will gather in Central Park for a climate workshop organized by Sustaining All Life/United to End Racism. The event, which runs from 1-5pm, will include art, music, games and reading circles. Check it out! Details here.

Parenting Panel hosted by Sunrise Kids NYC
September 26th, 7pm

How do—and should—adults talk with kids about climate change? How can we empower and encourage the next generation, given the magnitude of the task ahead? Is it foolish to hope they will save us from what we have done? This event will explore the meaning, responsibilities, and possibilities of bringing life into an endangered world. With Jill Kubit, Katy Lederer, Kate Marvel, Jedediah Purdy, Christine Smallwood, and Mari Tan. More info here.

And save the date for 350Brooklyn’s climate parenting panel on November 20th, which is part of an exciting 8-part climate panel series, beginning this month, at the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch.

RSVP below to a Climate Strike event where you live
Red Hook Climate Strike
Friday, September 20th, 12:00 p.m. 
Coffey Park, Red Hook, Brooklyn
Brooklyn, United States
Red Hook Climate Strike

Join this event
New York City Climate Strike with Greta Thunberg
Friday, September 20th, 12:00 p.m. 
Foley Square
New York City, United States
New York City Climate Strike with Greta Thunberg
Join this event
Parking Day: Spot for Dance & Community Zone
Friday, September 20th, 14:00 p.m. 
West side of Broadway between 100th & 101st Streets
New York, United States
Parking Day: Spot for Dance & Community Zone
Join this event
Friday, September 20th, 15:00 p.m. 
In front of our congressional office
Massapequa Park, United States
Join this event