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Being the Change this Earth Week: A Speech

Happy Earth Week! I was invited to speak at my high school, Amador Valley High School, in celebration of Earth Week today. It's been awhile since I visited the place where I spent four years of my life learning and exploring my identity as an environmentalist. I actually started this blog while attending Amador Valley High School! Below is the text of my speech that I used as a reference this afternoon. What I actually said varied slightly, but here's the gist:

Hello, my name is Melissa Ott, and I graduated from Amador in 2010. I’d like to thank the organizers of Earth Week for inviting me to speak to you all today. Before I begin, I would like to a take a moment to acknowledge that we are standing on indigenous land and honor the Muwekma-Ohlone people who cared for this beautiful valley for generations before it was settled and renamed Pleasanton. The descendants of the Ohlone are still alive today, some of them in the Bay Area working to gain recognition and access to their …

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