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Our Children's Trust Visits CSW

Each year, the Maverick Lloyd Speaker Series at CSW welcomes pioneering speakers with a strong foundation in social justice activism and civil engagement to CSW, informing and empowering students to actively promote justice in their communities and beyond. The 2024 Maverick Lloyd speakers were Mat dos Santos and Laura Gehrke of Our Children’s Trust, a groundbreaking nonprofit organization that empowers youth to secure their legal rights to a life-sustaining climate. 

Mat is Our Children’s Trust’s  co-executive director and general counsel and Laura is the non-profit’s events manager. In their assembly presentation, Mat and Laura talked about their work on the groundbreaking Held v. State of Montana case, the first children’s constitutional climate case in history to go to trial — in which 16 youth successfully sued the state of Montana to protect their equal rights to a healthy environment, life, dignity, and freedom. 

Mat and Laura shared insights from behind the scenes, talking about the organization’s mission and how they went about working with children and teens to make sure that their voices were heard and elevated in support of promoting a healthy living environment for themselves and their families. They shared recent data and information on climate change, bios of some of their most important witnesses, and  video clips from the trial. They also talked about the importance of partner organizations and community support, making clear that there are a lot of ways to support climate justice organizations, without necessarily serving as a plaintiff in a large trial. 

In the afternoon, Mat and Laura met with faculty to offer a presentation on Trauma Informed Care, sharing some of the steps the team at Our Children’s Trust has taken to ensure the emotional well being of the young people they work with. Later, Mat and Laura discussed the topic of intergenerational climate action with parents, guardians, and fellow members of the community. 

To learn more about Our Children’s Trust, visit www.ourchildrenstrust.org

The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.