National Teach-In on Global Warming at MHC

Posted: January 22, 2009

During the first 100 days of the new administration, the National Teach-In on Global Warming will engage more than a million Americans in solutions-driven dialogue. As part of this initiative, Mount Holyoke will sponsor two events focused on local, regional, and national solutions to global climate change.

On Tuesday, February 3, the campus will feature a panel presentation,Climate Justice: Race, Gender, and Environmental Action,” which will take place at 4:30 pm in Cleveland Hall, L1. Elizabeth Budd '09, Aileen Suzara '06, and Tracy Zhu '08 will address how global warming and climate change disproportionately affect communities of color and poor and low-income populations in the U.S. and around the world. Speaking from their own experiences working with nonprofit environmental justice organizations in California, Massachusetts, and the Philippines, the panelists will discuss the innovative approaches that community organizations are using to raise awareness of the problem, create sustainable solutions, and work toward a green economy and future.

Giovanna Di Chiro, research associate in Environmental Studies and expert in environmental justice theory and community environmental science and politics, will moderate the panel.“The climate justice perspective is one that is often missing in technical and abstract discussions about mitigation and adaptation strategies in the face of global warming,” Di Chiro said. “How are the most vulnerable populations among us affected by climate change, and how are environmental justice communities taking action to develop sustainable solutions for change?”

Budd has worked as an environmental organizer for Nuestras Raíces in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and is on the executive committee of the community organization HOPE (Holyoke Organized to Protect the Environment). Suzara is director of programs for the San Francisco Urban Service Project and serves on the board of the Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES). Zhu is program assistant for Literacy for Environmental Justice in the Bayview-Hunter's Point neighborhood in San Francisco, California.

This event is sponsored by the Center for the Environment, the Weissman Center for Leadership and Liberal Arts, the Community-Based Learning Program, and the Inclusiveness Initiative Fund of the Committee on Multicultural Community and College Life.

On Wednesday, February 4, the Center for the Environment will host “The First 100 Days: Climate Change and the Dawning of a New Administration,” which will take place at 7 pm in Gamble Auditorium. This event will feature a community viewing of the National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions Webcast titled The First 100 Days, which features David Orr, Hunter Lovins, Betsy Taylor, and others talking about the science and policy of climate change and possible responses by the Obama administration in its first 100 days. This 30-minute Webcast will focus on the recommendations from the Presidential Climate Action Project. Following the screening, there will be a community dialogue led by local/regional political leaders, city planners, and/or activists who will share how their efforts are linked to increased political action, the state of the economy, aspirations under the new administration, and community participation to fight global warming and increase sustainability.

Both events are free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible.

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