Climate Strike: Mililani Students Take a Stand


Genevieve Mumma

In addition to Hui Malama members, students not part of the club also participated in the protest.

Emily Zimmerman, Reporter

     On Sept. 26, the MHS environmental club, Hui Malama, with the help of Senior Lisette Zapata, hosted a climate strike. The strike was part of a major global movement to bring attention to climate change.

     “We just want to raise awareness and get people to understand that, like, kids can make a difference. And, we kinda just want to make sure people are aware because some people are aware and just don’t care enough,” said Hui Malama club Vice President Senior Kaylee Jones. 

     The group rallied at an intersection near Mililani Town Center. They held posters and cheered. “This is probably the biggest issue that we are facing worldwide. Not just environmentally, socially, politically — it’s a huge issue economically,” said Hui Malama club adviser Jennifer Kuwahara.

      Zapata saw there was something wrong and decided to take initiative. She was the event coordinator for the strike. “I kinda just wanted to organize something that, you know, that students could participate in and kinda find their voice. So, I contacted a lot of people.” said Zapata.

     Zapata’s plan traveled through Principal Fred Murphy to the previous Hui Malama advisor Sandra Ward. It soon turned into something bigger with companies such as 350 Hawai’i and Blue Planet coming into contact with Zapata with interest in the strike. “This event wouldn’t have been nothing without them and quite frankly are the reason it happened — not me,” said Zapata.

     The strike was originally supposed to just be a school walk out. With the help of Hui Malama, it was able to become a widely publicized event throughout Mililani. “He (Brodie Lockhard) actually came to our lunchtime booth and advertised and did all that good stuff. Kawika (Pegram) — which is the Hawai’i state lead for youth climate strike — he actually funded the entire event. He bought our posters, our supplies, our decorations. So everything was funded by him,” said Zapata. 

     For Zapata, the protest was a good experience. In the future, Zapata and Hui Malama hope to plan similar events. “This is just the first step for me. You know, I think this was good. It’s kinda a first step into what I want to do because I am a senior now,” Zapata said. 

      Hui Malama is unsure if they will host any other stikes but it is something they will be discussing. Both the club and Zapata encourage students to go out and make their voices heard.