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WUWM's Susan Bence reports on Wisconsin environmental issues.

UWM students join in statewide climate action marches culminating on Earth Day

woman on sidewalk
Susan Bence
Student Mathilde Prosen-Oldani hopes on upcoming Fridays this intersection on the UW-Milwaukee campus will spill over with people of all ages calling for climate action.

For eight consecutive Fridays, starting March 4, groups will be gathering in over a dozen communities across Wisconsin. Organizers of March Forth To Earth Day! hope to spur climate and environmental justice action.

Mathilde Prosen-Oldani will be at the corner of E. Kenwood Blvd. and N. Maryland Ave. on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus.

"We’re going to be standing here on this semi-busy intersection trying to get people’s attention," she explains. "I think right now it’s going to be a standing protest because in other areas of Wisconsin people are going to the Capitol. But it’s also just trying to get people to care about the state of the climate, and I do believe, and many people agree and feel the same way, we’re in a climate emergency."

READ: How Wisconsinites Are Getting Involved In The Fight Against Climate Change

Prosen-Oldani took her first environmental step back in grade school. “I noticed how at lunch we had tons of plastics and stuff, and everyone was always throwing them out. And so my science fair project I counted up all the plastic, the forks and how many like pounds of trash and for how many years that would be in landfills in coming years and how degrading that would be to the environment. We actually started a recycling program there.”

She still espouses personal action, but the now 19 year old says it’s time for governments and business leaders to step up.

“The earth will go with or without us, but the decisions we make now are going to determine whether or not it’s going to be habitable for us and countless other species, so we can put that weight in our hands and we have the autonomy to do this and act now and care,” she says.

Prosen-Oldani says her grandmother was her environmental hero. “Every day growing up, she taught me to appreciate the simple things and it just really instilled in me just how glorious and lucky we are to observe everything; and we don’t have to lose it, we don’t have to."

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Susan is WUWM's environmental reporter.
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