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"On Our Minds" podcast cover image featuring hosts Bree and James from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. The image includes a photo of Sophia Kianni speaking at a podium, emphasizing her involvement and highlighting the podcast's focus on relevant topics.

Activist Sophia Kianni Discusses Youth-Led Activism and Climate Anxiety

June 20, 2024

Activist Sophia Kianni Discusses Youth-Led Activism and Climate Anxiety

Ask students: What did Sophia Kianni observe in Iran? Where were the temperatures rising more than twice the global average?


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Sophia Kianni was the youngest member of the United Nations’s first Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. In this On Our Minds podcast episode, Kianni talks with hosts Bree Campbell and James Kim about why she started an organization dedicated to translating climate information and resources and getting involved with Born This Way Foundation, which helps support youth mental health. On Our Minds is a podcast that focuses on mental health and is produced by Student Reporting Labs.

View the transcript of the story.

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Discussion Questions

  1. What did Sophia Kianni observe in Iran?
  2. Where were the temperatures rising more than twice the global average?
  3. Who is to blame for the climate crisis, according to Kianni?
  4. How can translating resources and data help activism around climate change?
  5. Why does Kianni say it's important to have translations of climate-related information?

Focus Questions

In the episode, Kianni draws connections between mental health and systemic exploitation and harm in our society. How do you think participating in activism and social movements can help improve our mental health?

Media literacy: How do you think Sophia Kianni's perspective differs from or resembles other news you've heard about climate change?

Extension Activity

Research another youth-led climate activism organization (local or national), such as the Sunrise Movement or Climate Defiance. What does the organization do? What are their goals and recent actions? Why do you think students are participating in these organizations?

Lesson Plans on Climate Change

Explore more resources for educators to find a wide-range of relevant preK-12 lessons on climate change or supporting young people as they continue to lead the conversation around the climate change crisis.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom
PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. The site combines the best of NewsHour's reliable, trustworthy news program with lesson plans developed specifically for... See More

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