Sue Hughes-Smith, an educator, activist, and mother, works to raise awareness of climate
change issues in order to protect the future for the next generation. Hughes-Smith’s whole family
has also gotten involved in climate activism. Her two eldest sons, Liam and Benny Smith are
both involved in the leadership of the Rochester Youth Climate Leaders. Liam also started the
climate club at Brighton High School, which their father, Craig, is the advisor for. Liam and
Benny’s younger siblings, Clinton, Reagan, and Asa all either participate in these organizations
or attend rallies with the family.
           Recently, Liam organized a demonstration in support of Juliana v. the U.S., a
constitutional climate lawsuit filed by a group of youth leaders demanding that the government
take action against climate change to ensure “the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to
life, liberty, and property.” The members of the Smith family firmly believe that Climate Change
is the most pressing issue of our time and recognize the effects it will have on youth today. They
are motivated to take action to solve climate change and help ensure a safe future for their
communities. Hughes-Smith, although careful not to force her beliefs on her children,
encourages them in their activism because she says, “you only feel hopeful when you are taking
action.” (Text by Bridget Fetsko)
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