With growing scientific data verifying the severity of global warming, and with Congress’s recent failure to enact legislation to adequately address this crisis, the need for individuals to demand real results from their lawmakers is becoming ever more apparent. This year, students at UChicago will have the opportunity to fundamentally transform the discourse around climate legislation in Illinois, and in doing so, hopefully change the actions of our state and federal politicians.
Students for a Just and Stable Future (SJSF) is a student-led, volunteer network that pushes for bold solutions to the climate crisis. Founded in 2007 by four students in Massachusetts as Mass Youth Climate Action, SJSF has since experienced a few name-changes and significant growth. In 2009, SJSF launched the Leadership Campaign, pushing for state legislation that would help bring Massachusetts to 100% clean electricity by 2020. The Leadership Campaign gained international recognition for its tactic of “sleepouts.” Students slept in tents on their campuses and weekly in the Boston Common to protest the use of dirty electricity in their houses, dorms, and apartments. Students for a Just and Stable Future is also known for its summer internship program, New England Climate Summer, in which students bicycle around New England and work with individuals and organizations in the communities that they visit to help build and strengthen the climate movement.
This year, Students for a Just and Stable Future is expanding to states beyond Massachusetts. UChicago will be the first school in Illinois to be home to an SJSF chapter, which will serve this fall as a division of Green Campus Initiative. Plans are already underway to get UChicago students to attend one of 350.org’s 10/10/10 Work Parties happening in Chicago. Students will join fellow Chicago residents in opposing the continued operation of the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants in Chicago. They will likewise stand in solidarity with people across the globe who on this date, will be getting to work to make their communities more sustainable and to demand that their political leaders do the same. Currently, there are 3562 events registered in 165 different countries, and GCI and SJSF are excited to be a small part of this truly global day of climate action.
Beyond participation in this empowering event, SJSF will work to get UChicago students involved in ongoing environmental activism in Chicago. Additionally, members will reach out to other campuses in Illinois, and begin to define legislative goals of their own.
Students are in a unique position to call for the real change that is needed to address the climate crisis. As young people, we want a just and stable future for ourselves and subsequent generations, and we understand that fossil fuels cannot be a part of this future. We recognize that economic and technical challenges to transitioning to 100% clean energy as quickly as possible are far inferior to the political challenges. We look forward to building the political will to make this transition possible. We are excited for any and all to join us!
Friday, September 24, 2010
We're announcing a new GCI division for the school year: Students for a Just and Stable Future. This will be the main activism branch of GCI as we attempt to bring back the endeavors of previous RSOs. This year, GCI has decided to expand its reach to both activism and environmental community service. We're excited for the new possibilities and the broader range of influence we can have. Here's a post from Caroline describing this new division.
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