The Do the Math Tour swept through North Carolina on November 19 and packed the house at Duke University. Hundreds of students turned out from all corners of the state and divestment campaigns are kicking off at Appalachian State University, Duke University, and Davidson College. We have seen divestment catching like wildfire at universities in the blue states of the Northeast and West Coast and now North Carolina is diving in head-first!
We have teamed up with students from UNC-Chapel Hill, who were among the first students in the country to start a coal divestment campaign last year, and their insight has been indispensable. At an event last week called the Endowment 101 Forum, UNC students pressed administrators for divestment and input on investment decisions. To the surprise of student organizers, many of the toughest questions came from audience members who were not even involved with the divestment campaign. Sophomore Tait Chandler was amazed by the powerful student presence and said:
“It was an incredible experience to hear students we had never directly talked to bring up divestment…as an issue that we had been working on for over a year and a half with little progress, here it was, being asked directly to the people who can make the decisions. It was empowering to know that our outreach and education efforts were paying off.”
- The kick off meeting for Fossil Free App State drew over 30 student organizers to lay the groundwork for this brand new group on campus. Appalachian State is known for its sustainability efforts and its students have a reputation for being among the most environmentally-conscious in the state. The Sustainability Office has led efforts to build LEED certified buildings, created bold initiatives to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, and is creating an environment that values student input and creativity. It’s time to leverage this broad base of support for the next phase of the fight against the fossil fuel industries.
Stay tuned for more as we build momentum for the spring. North Carolina students are getting educated, empowered, and organized!