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The Gordon School

International climate activism comes to Gordon

Gordon to host Beyond COP21 symposium, Earth Day 2022

photos: Dozens of Gordon students participated in the 2019 Climate Strike in downtown Providence. More on this event, and how Gordon supported the students involved.

On Earth Day, April 22, 2022, Gordon will bring local schools and guest speakers to campus for a day of learning and planning centered on the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement. 

It will be the thirteenth symposium organized through Beyond COP21, a global organization dedicated to involving young people in the work of meeting the Paris Agreement's ambitious goals.

Planning is underway for this event, and guest speakers and community partners will be announced in the coming months. Parents who are interested in volunteering should check the Commons for details on how to get involved.



The Gordon symposium will be the first one held in North America.

Past symposiums have been held in the UK, the UAE, Singapore, Kenya, Ghana and Jordan, with partners that have included, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots UK, and the Climate Action Project.



The partnership with Gordon sprang out of the work of Gordon's Sustainability Working Group over the past several years.

When Head of School Noni Thomas López met Peter Milne, the force behind the Beyond COP21 Symposium series, she immediately recognized the connection between his work and the goals of Gordon's strategic vision, A More Just and Sustainable World.

The symposium was originally scheduled for April 2021, but postponed due to the need for pandemic precautions. While Gordon is prepared for all eventualities, the intention is to plan for a safe, in-person event on Gordon's campus in 2022. 


The symposium will bring together Gordon students and students from local public and independent schools for a day-long event designed to build tomorrow’s responsible citizens and forward the UN’s Education for Sustainable Development philosophy.

While the event is designed for middle school students, Earth Week 2022 will present an incredible opportunity to engage students and families from all corners of Gordon in this work, as well as the broader Rhode Island community.



"COP21" is an abbreviation for "the 21st Conference of the Parties," the official name for the United Nations' climate change conference held in Paris in 2015 which produced the Paris Climate Agreement ratified in 2016.

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