In solidarity with 350.org’s Global Divestment Day, there were over 400 events in 48 countries across six continents, and the Di/Re Investment Campaign on Kalamazoo College’s campus was host to two of them.
On Friday, February 13th, Di/Re organizers co-hosted a discussion in the Arcus Center focused on the many facets of climate change. Breakout groups focused on solidarity with frontline communities, biodiversity impacts and initiatives, emerging technology and the energy politics, and fossil fuel dependence.
Valerie Alagon’15 said that the event was welcoming and all who attended were willing to educate one another.
“I thought my lack in sustainability knowledge would get in the way of understanding the movement, however, the event planners and discussants were quite welcoming and open to questions,” said Alagon. “I appreciated the comment regarding environmental inclusivity or opening up the space for marginalized groups to join the conversations. I think this fossil fuels discussion is increasing in noise and I believe students who would like to know more should get involved.”
On Saturday, K students joined community leaders from the organization Remember Kalamazoo, to march through downtown and hand out valentines to local businesses and banks demanding fossil fuel divestment. The group ended the march at the Kalamazoo River, a few miles from the site of the Enbridge oil spill (the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history), for a photo action.
Rosie Nocita’18 said she enjoyed involving the entire community in the event.
“It was great to be able to show our enthusiasm for the divestment movement beyond campus, and I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people passing by in their cars who expressed support for the march,” said Nocita.
Di/Re Investment organizers have been working to elevate campus consciousness of the campaign and what it stands for. The orange divestment square, a piece of felt that students are pinning to their coats and backpacks, symbolizes not only the fossil fuel divestment movement but also unity with international movements.
“We have chosen to wear this symbol in solidarity with other international student-powered movements addressing issues of racism, debt, and immigration, most notably the Quebec Student Movement” (Yes! Magazine).
The Di/Re Investment Movement is a campaign of the Kalamazoo College Climate Action Network – the next meeting is Thursday of 8th week in Arcus, at 6:00pm. All are invited to attend and learn more about how to get involved.