Climate Justice @ Boston College is a group of undergrad and grad students, alumni, faculty, and staff at Boston College who are fighting to mitigate climate change to prevent further environmental disaster that threatens the well-being of communities around the world.
Mission Statement of Fossil Free Campaign:
Climate Justice @ Boston College empowers BC and other universities to take bold action on climate including divestment from the fossil fuel industry; educates students and community members on the dangers of climate change and how they can be agents for change; unites with the local and national climate movement to strengthen social and political support for climate justice.
Meet Some Members!
|Zachary Muzdakis, Class of 2017, MCAS. I got involved in Climate Justice second semester of my sophomore year. I was invited by my friend Anna and I quickly became very involved, helping organize rallies and marches. I continue to stay dedicated to the cause because I believe that climate change is the most significant issue facing the world today. While it is an issue that affects pockets of people more than others it is distinct since it affects everyone in the world in some way. Therefore, it is an issue that we as a world should be fighting against, and it is my dream and my goal to combat the climate change and bring justice to it instead. I love CJBC and divestment in general because it is a way to shift political power through the voices of the people. Mainly the younger generations who are the ones that will have to deal with the mess left for us by past generations. We the people are able to express our voices and ultimately shift political decisions through the power of divestment.|
|Delia is proud to have been an active member of CJ@BC since its earlier stages. She was drawn in by the enthusiasm and energy that takes place in each meeting. She admits that she was unaware of what divestment truly meant just over a year ago, but is now clearly an avid supporter. She believes that CJ@BC is a strong group of amazing individuals, all of who inspire her to help change the world for the better. In her free time she enjoys photography, running, and going to concerts. Delia is a graduate majoring in Environmental Geoscience and minoring in Film Studies.|
|Klara Henry, Class of 2017, MCAS, studying Linguistics and Spanish. I’m involved because I’d like to become an environmental lawyer in the future and have always been intrigued and concerned by climate change issues, and everyone in the group is clearly so passionate and dedicated to promoting climate/social justice and brings such good energy–joining CJ@BC was a huge highlight of my sophomore year. I’m excited about the monumental progress we’ve made in the past year and the increasing visibility of our role at BC, and the issues of climate justice at universities, in the US, and in the world at large becoming more important than ever. In my free time I am a yoga instructor, horseback-rider, and avid cappuccino drinker!|
|Hi everyone! I’m a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. I’m currently majoring in Political Science and Sociology. My family loves to hike, snowboard, camp, go on bike rides, kayak, snowshoe, and anything else you can think of! Because of them, I’ve always been surrounded by people who appreciated nature and cared for it. It wasn’t until I got to college and first heard of divestment that I really understood the true state of what’s happening to nature. I was paralyzed by fear of what I thought was to come. CJ@BC has given me the ability to turn that fear into hope. I am a member of Climate Justice @ BC because I want change. I don’t want the terrifying future that faces us today; I want to go snowboarding and biking with my children in a world that is still beautiful and healthy. The prospects if we don’t change are scary, but groups like CJ@BC are working towards change that will make living together on this earth possible.|
|Andrew Bernstein, Senior (2017), MCAS (Economics). I became involved with CJBC after reading about their First Semester rally that gained the attention of not only the major news sources on campus but also of the administrators of the university. It seemed unfair that students were being penalized for simply expressing their thoughts, and I reached out to a friend I have in the club to learn more about it. When I think about divestment at BC, I see more than just a victory for a small organization on campus. I see it as a canon for groups all over Boston College and our surrounding area to speak their minds and actually feel like they’ve got a shot at making changes, no matter how small they might seem at the time. While of course divestment is our primary focus in CJBC, we’re fighting for all of the underdogs at Boston College to be heard; we’re fighting for what we should already be entitled to.|
|Josh Behrens is a junior in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and is majoring in International Studies with a Political Science concentration as well as minoring in Latin American Studies. He loves music and is in the Acoustics, an a cappella group on campus. He also enjoys reading, writing, and running. Josh was hooked from the first CJBC he attended because he fell in love with the incredible passion of every member and the potential to create real, lasting change. He believes that Boston College’s Jesuit mission of being Men and Women for Others doesn’t stop in the classroom and calls us to strive to implement systemic change where injustice occurs. Divestment is an incredible tool to start the process of transforming our world from one of destruction in the name of profit to one where our planet is respected and cared for.|
|Hello all! I am Sissi from Shenzhen, China. I am a senior at Boston College majoring in Linguistics and Environmental Studies. The idea that future generations might not have a livable future is terrifying. Lots of my friends in China are already potential victims of lung cancer because of air pollution.The fact that people are not caring more and doing more about the environment hurts me more than anything. Being able to make a difference is what motivates me everyday to get out of bed, to study and to continue fighting with hope. Environmentalism is such a universal and never-ending topic. It’s been so inspiring to see how it’s brought people together and CJ@BC is a perfect example of that. All the people involved are so inspiring in their own way and it’s been an absolute pleasure to be fighting for climate justice alongside these wonderful passionate people. I love singing and I am obsessed with How I Met Your Mother.|
|After graduating from BC’s School of Education in 1963, I’ve spent 50 years teaching people about how Earth’s systems work so that my students would grow up to understand and protect their environment. I love kids and I love the natural world that gives us life and refreshes our spirit. (Perhaps my most famous student, Bill McKibben, inspires me today much more than I ever inspired him as his 8th grade science teacher in Lexington MA!) Today I still lead nature walks, and am active in 350 MA, MA Interfaith Power and Light, Lexington’s Solarize Mass program, and Climate Justice @ BC. I see climate change as humankind’s greatest challenge and try to do all I can to promote substantial action to reduce its impact.
Investment in fossil fuels supports an industry that will destroy much of what I hold dear if allowed to continue on a “business as usual” track. I will do everything in my power to see that BC’s endowment doesn’t imperil the future of students everywhere, and that of my grandchildren, as well as the intricate living systems on the planet.
|I am a graduate from the Lynch School of Education, majoring in Elementary Education and Math/Computer Science. When I first heard that divesting wouldn’t even make a difference money-wise to these companies, I wondered if that was true. How could that be with millions of dollars, maybe billions, being reinvested? I soon realized that I wasn’t even able to comprehend how much money and power these companies have. $10 million is just a tiny drop in their bucket. The importance of divesting goes beyond money. It represents that a private, prestigious Catholic school does not agree with the sense or ethics of what these companies do. It makes a statement showing that we are smarter and better than that, and will no longer support the horrible choices that fossil fuel companies are making. I believe that as Boston College students, we have the power to change where our money goes, and what we choose to support.|
|Nathan is a cofounder of Climate Justice @ BC and is actively working on developing the website for the campaign. He is a Physics PhD student working in Professor Naughton’s lab on nano-architectures to improve the electrodes used in dye-sensitized solar cells and cancer detectors (see blog for details). He began working on climate activism in high school when he helped organize a Step It Up 2007 event. As an undergrad he started a chapter of Students for a Just and Stable Future at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and helped organize sleep-outs and marches to promote climate legislation in Massachusetts. He is concerned about climate change because of the heat waves, hurricanes, and droughts that have already tested the lives of millions around the world. He enjoys learning new things, currently trying to pick up guitar, wind surfing, and woodworking.|
|I am deeply motivated by the students who comprise cjbc ( formerly bcff ). They are bright, creative, energetic, collaborative , and devote great amounts of their time focused on the number one issue facing the human species, namely, climate change ( in his encyclical, Si Laudato, Pope Francis could not have been any clearer in describing the link between environmental and social justice & his urgent call for all catholic institutions to act decisively to avert the pending catastrophic consequences if they do not ). Deeply commited to their values cjbcers have persisted in their actions to raise awareness of the student body and, particularly, to attempt to engage the president and trustees in dialogue to have bc join the international fossil fuels divestment movement with little response. Some members move on ( graduate or semesters away ) and new members join. What’s important is that they keep coming back semester after semester, year after year, with renewed efforts to influence boston college to step up to its rightful role as a leader in addressing the climate change crisis. I am happy to support them in any way that I am able.|
|Christopher Spicer – Alum||
Participant with CJ@BC since February 2013. Liaison with School of Theology and Ministry since Feb. 2013. Advocate for nonviolence training and transparency in process. Brings Catholic Social Teaching to CJ@BC. Promoter of one-on-ones to foster relationship. Host of Kelly Hayes, organizer with Occupy Chicago and trainer with Backbone, for free direct action training program, April 2013. Participant in direct action with CJ@BC in role filming October 2013. Imbedded cheerleader for crowd behavior modification during talk by Bill McKibben, October 2013. Meeting attendance streak of fifteen snapped late October. Member and liaison at large ever since.
|I’m Erin Sutton from Hopedale, MA. I’m a graduate from BC majoring in math and physics and minoring in computer science. I have always classified myself as an environmentally conscious kind of person. But as I get older, I realize that taking shorter showers, recycling newspapers, becoming a vegetarian and minimizing my time in the car just doesn’t have a big enough effect. For example, I’m really into running long distance. I have a friend studying abroad in China who loves running too, and she can only run outside on “clean-air” days, else she has to stay indoors. That is an insanely scary reality to face. We need structural changes throughout the world, and the Fossil Free divestment campaign is the best way I’ve found to enact those changes. If I’m going to say that I care about the environment, I better have the proof to back it up!|
Bobby is a proud co-founder of CJ@BC and remains active in the campaign. He understands the campaign as part of the larger climate justice movement. The wealthiest in society are most responsible for the climate crisis while the poorest are being hit first and worst. This is also a generational injustice. If you were born after February 1985, then you’ve never experienced a month where the global average surface temperature was below the 20th Century mean. For the poorest and youngest then, we must win this fight. Bobby’s a PhD candidate in the BC sociology department and does research the growing climate justice movement in Boston.