City of Ithaca Divests!

On Earth Day, April 22, 2013, the city of Ithaca, NY became the FIRST east coast city and the second in the world to divest from fossil fuels. In response to youth demands, following the Youth Power Summit, the city has agreed to divest from the fossil fuel industry (which is not hard- they currently have no investments in the industry!) and not invest any of its holdings into the further destruction of our planet. See the full press release here.

If our entire city can do it, why can’t we, Ithaca College??

Organizers of the 2013 Youth Power Summit demanded that the city of Ithaca Divest last Sunday, April 21.

Organizers of the 2013 Youth Power Summit demanded that the city of Ithaca divest at their action last Sunday, April 21.

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Agency & Urgency

Kaela Bamberger:

I want to write about two things. Agency and urgency.

Within agency there is ability, and accountability.

The beauty of the divestment movement is that within it, we all have agency. This is not saving children in a foreign country we’ve never seen, or even joining the struggle to save rainforests we’ve never been to.

The Ithaca College divestment campaign is made up of all of us that study at or graduated from, worked at or are associated with this institution. When I say all of us I mean those who are spearheading, participating, and are informed about this movement, and those who have never heard the word, and will never read this piece of writing.

This movement is made up of those who are meeting their agency, getting to know their agency, getting in jealous fights with their agency, eventually falling in love with their agency. This movement is also made up of those complicit. Those who will pass by their agency with maybe a nod on the quad, a pretty girl in the stairs up to your class in Friends.

Divestment at Ithaca College embraces all those who have ability. But it also creates a divide between those who have ability and those who have accountability. We all have agency, but not all of us are agents.

To accept accountability is not an easy thing. To acknowledge your simple presence at this institution makes you inherit the consequences of decisions you did not make seems unjust. To acknowledge your existence in this country is an inheritance of issues you did not cause, that you might not know about, this realization could be catastrophic for you.

But who else? The agency is ours. And urgency introduces us to our agency.

I won’t preach about how climate change is the most important issue we can care about, because what is most important is a individual belief. But this campaign is poignant and immediate, I’d go so far to say that asking Ithaca College to divest from fossil fuels is a right we have as students here. As people associated with and representing this institution, they are accountable to us to let us know where they are investing and even have a say in where.

The urgency is tangible. The agency is ours.

Inside scoop on Wednesday’s IC Board of Trustees action from two ELAN members

“We appreciate your transparency.”
–President
Rochon

From Jessie Braverman, first time activist:
Wednesday marked the first time our coalition opened up a dialogue with the Board of Trustees and asked them to divest from fossil fuels and to invest in socially responsible businesses. Ten confident and inspired activists lined up outside the Board of Trustees’ banquet to show the board members that we are serious, and are here to stay!

Walking towards Emerson Suites, my hands were shaking and my heart was racing as I was about to participate in my first action EVER. I hadn’t felt that nervous in a long time, but it quickly transformed into a euphoria of excitement. Standing outside the Board of Trustees banquet that evening seemed so cold and dark, but I felt an aura of warmth and passion radiating from our group. When I held the sign that read “Will you help us, Mr. Fuchs?” a sense of leadership and empowerment washed over me. I felt incredibly confident in what I was doing, and so proud to be standing up for an issue that is so INCREDIBLY important. All of my worries suddenly didn’t matter, and the most important thing was the issue at hand. Standing in solidarity with other students, who are so intelligent and enthusiastic, was so moving, and I felt that we could accomplish anything in that moment.

I still feel confident that we can change the world, starting with this crucial step of influencing Ithaca College and other schools across the country to divest from fossil fuels. I believe that we, Ithaca College, can unite to win this fight against the dirty energy that is destroying our beautiful planet.

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