On January 23rd, Fossil Free Yale participated in a nation-wide, post-election action coordinated by 350.org and the divestment student network. This national day of action, tagged #resistrejectdenial, showed that students and allies across the country will stand up against the climate deniers that populate the new administration’s cabinet. In our action, we entered Woodbridge Hall with a group of students holding signs with the faces of especially egregious climate deniers in the cabinet: Rex Tillerson, Scott Pruitt, and Rick Perry. Three of our freshmen spoke, highlighting the dangers of each cabinet nominee, and speaking about their personal stakes. Mary Evelyn Tucker, one of our faculty allies from the Divinity School, also spoke, referencing a passage from Yale‘s very own handbook, The Ethical Investor, about the university’s moral obligation to divest in a “world in flames” situation. FFY and friends filed out with a song.
Apartheid Divestment Panel
On February 9th, Fossil Free Yale and Yale Students for Prison Divested hosted four Yale alumni who were lead organizers in the South African apartheid divestment movement of the 1980s. Inspiring Alumni Charlotte Hitchcock and Andrea van den Heever were also scheduled to come but travel plans were cancelled due to an intense snowstorm. These four extraordinary organizers — Matthew Countryman, Elizabeth Juliver, Michael Moran, and Jon Ritter — spoke about divestment as a tactic, organizing at Yale, building coalitions with other student groups, unions, and New Haven-ites, putting together thousand-person demonstrations, and what it was like to build and live in a model Shantytown on Beinecke Plaza. Roughly one hundred members of the Yale community came out for the event (despite the blizzard and the cancellation of classes), and it was followed by a march to Beinecke Plaza, where the Shantytown once stood and where the President still works.
Alumni for a Responsible Endowment
Thank you to the alumni who signed our online letter to the Yale Corporation recommending that the University divest from the fossil fuel industry. You can read the letter here – and it’s not too late to add your signature!