Meet the 12-year-old activist taking politicians to task over climate change
By Jessica Kutz
Posted July 10, 2019
Every Friday since the beginning of this year, bundled in a burnt-orange puffy jacket, 12-year-old Haven Coleman has protested climate change in front of government buildings and business storefronts in Denver, Colorado. The reactions are mixed. Last week, a man flipped her off through his rolled-down window; other times, people shout words of encouragement or give a thumbs-up.
Balancing school and planning a national strike can be challenging — to say the least — for a seventh-grader. She caught some flak from a teacher when she missed a math-tutoring session; she’d gotten stranded on a planning phone call with her climate strike co-leaders. When she tried to explain that she had just started the U.S. version of a European climate action movement, her teacher responded by telling her, “You better get your priorities together.” Coleman has missed several days of school to attend rallies in D.C. and speak at climate change events, but for the most part, she tries to balance school with her activism. On her Friday strikes, she squeezes in her protests early in the mornings or during lunch, though sometimes she ends up a little late for her classes. More…