The Impact of COVID–19 and the Climate: LEAP Week 2021

This is a guest post by Avery Bernier ‘21, Maddalena Ledezma ‘22, and Amelia Albanese ‘22, members of Lincoln School’s Environmental Action Group (LEAG), which organizes LEAP Week. 

LEAP Week was started by the Lincoln School’s Environmental Action Group (LEAG) in 2019, with the goal of educating the greater Lincoln community about climate justice. We were inspired by other clubs’ action days, such as Morgan Stone Day (2B1) and Future is Feminist Day (Future is Feminist), however, we wanted to have a full week so students, faculty, and staff alike could learn as a community. This year, Covid-19 protocols made planning LEAP Week challenging, yet LEAG members were determined to persevere. Together, we have put created an educational and inspiring week that we are excited to put forth for the community during the week of May 3.

LEAP Week in years past has typically had a theme, where the general topic of conversation surrounded thoughts about it. However, this year it made more sense for us to keep things open-ended and focus on the general impacts of Covid-19 on climate. Our club has been thinking about the impacts of mass production (i.e. fast fashion or the food industry), air pollution (who is affected, the health impacts, how it’s changed during the pandemic), climate change policy, and fossil fuel lobbying (locally, nationally, and internationally), extreme weather events (causes and effects), animal extinction & changing natural habitats, and climate justice activism (highlighting the diversity of the movement, but also the conflicts within it - how it may perpetuate white supremacy, the patriarchy, and discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community or people with disabilities). 

"Addressing climate change is one of the biggest challenges that is facing our population for the foreseeable future. It is exciting to have a week devoted to engaging both academically and socially with something that the students and faculty all have a vested interest in and are passionate about. We need to remember what school and community are really for, and I can't think of a better purpose for school than coming together to focus on making impactful change in our planet's future."

Alicia Taylor, Science Department Chair

Education on these topics will happen both inside and outside of the classroom. Teachers will be implementing lessons about climate justice that relate to their field of study during the week. Paired with that, LEAG members have pulled together a keynote speaker, a panel, a documentary, and fun challenges for students to engage with outside of the classroom. At the end of the week, we plan to hold a share out during an all-school meeting where students can discuss what they learned or talked about this week. 

LEAP Week is important for students and faculty to engage in conversations they may not every day and for LEAG members to share what we learn about on a weekly basis. We hope by having LEAP Week, it initiates conversations and action that can help climate justice in our Lincoln community and beyond!