Climate Justice Will Flip Classroom, Teach Faculty About Divestment

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This Tuesday, Climate Justice at Boston College (CJBC) will flip the classroom by putting professors into the seats of students at their new event titled “Climate Justice Teachback: Trumping Climate Denial.” At the event, which will be held in McGuinn 521, members of CJBC will teach their professors about the importance of the divestment movement and what actions they can take to help.

CJBC invited 25 professors according to numbers provided by the group, and, so far, 10 professors have confirmed they are attending the event. These professors include Tony Laramie, an adjunct professor of economics, and Elizabeth Wallace, a professor of English. At press time, no professors have responded to request for comment.

President Donald Trump’s support of the fossil fuel industry has been an issue at the center of CJBC’s conversations since he entered office. Last week, CJBC held a rally about divestment featuring Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland.

CJBC’s goal is to explain the importance of divestment to faculty so that more professors can work towards educating the student body on the issue through the courses they teach or clubs they advise.

Aaron Salzman, a member of CJBC and MCAS ’20, explained that the club’s goal for the event is to foster potential future action from faculty.

“We hope to move people more from being passive allies in this fight to becoming more active and more involved,” Salzman said.

This action could range from faculty incorporating this discussion in their classrooms, signing petitions, or getting more involved at on-campus rallies.

“We would like to have professors feel like they’re on the same page with us in terms of what the issue is and how to go about working towards a solution,” Salzman said.

Salzman said that while there will likely be professors present who are already aware of the divestment movement, the event may serve as a catalyst for faculty to take more action in spreading awareness on campus.

While Tuesday’s event was created with faculty in mind, students are also welcome.

“The presentation is going to be more focused toward faculty and staff, but it is definitely going to be informative about what divestment is, so hopefully we can get new membership as well,” Salzman said.

Salzman is looking forward to seeing some connections form between the faculty and students attending, and he hopes to see excitement and motivation for future action grow as a result.

 Salzman emphasized the importance of events like this one in mobilizing change on college campuses.

Although he explained that this event will increase overall awareness on current issues regarding climate change, Salzman also pointed out that faculty support will add legitimacy to CJBC’s fight and spread the word in a much more impactful way than the club itself can.

“It definitely shapes the overall culture a lot better than action from individual students.” Salzman said. “Rather than having students just talk to friends about divestment, you have faculty who have a lot more access to students and a lot more influence telling them that divestment is important.”

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

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