Sunrise Dayton Hosts Rally for Humanity

The youth-led political activism organization brought together community members in the spirit of hope and unity. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Kroupa.

Carolyn Kroupa
News Staff Writer

On Saturday, October 3, around 30 UD students, high schoolers and people from the local Dayton area attended a Rally for Humanity at Sunrise MetroPark.

During the rally, attendees picked up trash by the Miami River, listened to speeches and filled out postcards to encourage people to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

The Rally for Humanity was organized by the Dayton hub of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led organization that advocates political action on climate change.

There were five speakers that discussed a variety of topics ranging from climate and social justice to voting and reproductive rights. 

Attendees of the Rally listened to multiple speakers while sitting beside the Miami River.

Kathleen Caffrey, the Communications Director for Our Revolution Ohio, spoke about the 6 pillars of justice – social, racial, economic, political, environmental and international – and explained to the crowd the intersectionality of these issues. 

“Find your issue,” Caffrey said. “We can do something no matter how big or small.”

David Borth, one of the Sunrise Dayton hub leaders, spoke about social justice and the Green New Deal. He discussed the negative impacts of environmental racism, the disproportionate impact of climate change on people of color and poor communities. Borth emphasized the need for a diverse group of voices in order to achieve change. 

“All of these problems are interconnected, so let’s get together and solve it,” Borth said.

Grace Gulczinski, a Sunrise Dayton member, talked about the importance of voting and repealing House Bill 6. HB 6, passed in 2019, is a bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants and contributes to fossil fuel use.

Another Sunrise Dayton member and junior biology major with minors in human rights and psychology, Terah Lee Blakemore, spoke about reproductive rights and the importance of sex education. Blakemore was also one of the coordinators of this event. 

“We are living through a time where hope is scarce and fear is becoming more abundant within our communities, and I was hoping that this event could emphasize the feeling of hope by bringing people together,” Blakemore said. “Rallies are important because it shows people that they are not alone in their beliefs and that change is possible by uniting as a group and fighting for what matters.”

The last speaker of the event Asia Gibbs, Founder and Executive Director for The Solution Movement, talked about the importance of intentionality and unity. 

“Show up intentionally,” Gibbs said. “That’s when we’re able to make these great changes. We can’t do anything without intentionality.”

Attendee Elizabeth Wourms, junior Management Information Systems major, said that hope and unity were the main themes of the day, and saw this rally as an opportunity for people who want to enact positive change in the world to come together.

“One of my main takeaways from the event is that there are passionate people who can help bring people together to try and fight against current issues,” Wourms said. “I think that the unity at the rally was important because it led to a sense of hope in beginning to fix the challenging issues of today.”

Updates about the Sunrise Dayton hub can be found @sunrisedayton on Instagram and Twitter.