The face of a movement: fast facts about Greta Thunberg

On September 20th, millions marched in America and around the world to voice concerns about climate change. And yesterday climate change activist and teen celebrity Greta Thunberg gave another inspired speech to the UN Climate Action Summit and was given the 2019 Right Livelihood Award.

As she called out world leaders for their inaction on the climate crisis, many Americans asked “Who is she?” Here’s what you need to know: 

  • She is a 16 year old Swedish climate activist. In 2018 she left school to protest outside the Riksdag, holding a sign that said “Skolstrejk för klimatet”  (School Strike for Climate). She was there every day for 3 weeks, and attracted international attention. 
  • She was inspired to her original climate strike by the actions of students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the site of a 2018 school shooting that killed 17 people. 
  • She started a school climate strike movement called Fridays For Future, which has grown to be a worldwide student strike movement, with protests occurring weekly.
  • She is a dynamic speaker, giving intense, direct speeches to the UN, and the British Parliament. Her blunt messages have struck a chord on social media, where she is an extremely popular figure. 
  • She has Asperger’s syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, and selective mutism, and has spoken out about how she views her Asperger’s syndrome as a superpower, not an illness. 
  • She was among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2019, and has received many other awards and commendations for her work.

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