April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!! While we can’t celebrate in person, we invite you to take collective action with Auggies near and far. The first Earth Day mobilized college students to demand action for clean air and water for everyone, and in this time of public health and climate crisis, we can still take action together towards long-term change that supports the health and wellbeing of us all. What can we transform? What could a revolutionary new normal look like? Whether you have the time, energy, and passion for taking small personal action, learning something new, building community, or advocating for policy change, we want to hear about it!
How can you participate?
- Join daily collective learning and action opportunities:
- Monday (4/20), 3:30-4:30pm – (virtual) Q&A with Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association and author of Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food, and a Green New Deal. RSVP here!
- Tuesday (4/21) – “Contact your legislators” challenge! Check ESC facebook for details and/or go to this doc for information on how to call and what issues you can call in about!
- Wednesday (4/22) – EarthDayLive2020 – STRIKE theme, amplifying indigenous and youth stories (RSVP required).
- Thursday (4/23) – (virtual) Sustainability Conversation with Augsburg Alum – details TBD
- Friday (4/24), 7pm – (virtual) Movie Watch Party – details TBD.
- Find other opportunities to take personal communal, and systemic action on this list compiled by the Environmental Stewardship Coordinators team. Add your own ideas! Take action whenever you can, in whatever way you can!
- Share your actions with the ESC facebook page or on other social media platforms using #AuggieEarthWeek2020 (and any other hashtags your networks are using this week – for example, #EarthDay2020, #BetterTogether, #ClimateJustice4All, #StayHomeButNotSilent).
- Submit daily actions for a chance to win a sustainability care package!
As Earth Month unfolds in ways we can’t predict towards the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, stay tuned for stories from the past, opportunities to take action towards a Just Transition mentioned below, and updates from what the Environmental Stewardship Coordinators are learning, doing, and processing during this time! Follow us here and on facebook.
(By Allyson Green, Chief Sustainability Officer)
On April 22, 1970, students across the country organized teaching-ins that demanded action on unrestrained pollution that threatened the ecological systems that support life. As our current reality of a global pandemic has shifted plans for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (and every other milestone the Augsburg community was planning to celebrate), the student Environmental Stewardship Coordinators and I have found ourselves grieving. What about the global climate strike we were going to mobilize students to participate in? What about the coffee tasting and panel that would highlight the connections between social, environmental, economic, and personal health? We are already anxious about what the climate crisis means for our current and future health and well-being, and now how will COVID-19 change that? Continue reading “Earth Month In A Time Of Transition”
Today is Caucus Day across Minnesota! Tonight at 7pm, neighbors will gather to shape party priorities for the Republican Party, Democratic-Farmer-Labor-Party, and the Green Party. Even if you’ve never caucused before and have no idea what to expect, attending a precinct caucus gives you insights into how political party decisions get made and how we can help shape those decisions.
Anna Cox (‘22) describes training and strategies for caucusing below:
This will be my first time caucusing, and at first the process and information was overwhelming and confusing. I feel this is the best way I can add my voice and advocate for issues I am passionate about. I will be joining others tonight at 7:00 at the University of Minnesota to caucus for climate change and for PlannedParenthood. If you would like to join meet in the Christensen lobby at 6:15 pm. If you are interested in caucusing for the Republican Party it will be held in Humphrey School of Public Affairs room 50B and for Democratic-Farmer-Labor will be held in Fraser Hall #101.
Caucus For An Issue:
Across the state, the 100% Campaign, a statewide coalition that includes MN350 who trained us on this process, is encouraging people to Caucus for the Climate – to attend precinct caucuses and volunteer to be a Climate Delegate who will bring climate on to the next level of decision-making within each party. On January 23rd the Environmental Stewardship Committee held a Caucus for the Climate House Party, led by Andrew Marks, Blongsha Hang, and Allyson Green, and there were about twenty-five student attendees. During the caucus house party there was a focus on the climate crisis, who is responsible for the crisis, and what action can be taken to address and resolve the climate crisis. Even within our own state, Minnesota winters are warming ten times faster than our summers, and the ripple effects of climate change will be experienced by everyone. Just a three to four degree increase would cause inevitable and reversible damage, and our failure to act will be felt by current and future generations. This is why caucusing is so important and needed. Climate action bills are stuck in state senate and caucusing is a way to bring up the issues and resolutions the everyday citizen is passionate about.
Six of the Augsburg student attendees committed to being a Climate Delegate. This sounds scary but literally means sitting through lots of other decisions at the caucus meeting (and either participating or doing your homework) until it’s time to elect delegates to the next round of party gatherings in March/April. Then, you just raise your hand and volunteer to be a delegate who will ask potential candidates how they will lead on climate action. So, in order for those candidates to get your vote, they need to demonstrate how they will take action, and then you will be able to hold them accountable for that action if they get elected. Caucusing is the purest form of democracy that we currently have in today’s governmental system, and this is a way beyond voting where you can share your own voice.
**Want to Caucus for the Climate? Sign up here and and stop by the ShareShop to grab a button to show your support!**
Caucus For A Candidate:
Another strategy for participating in the caucuses is to become a delegate for a specific candidate, to help them gain the support of the party. People caucus for specific candidates on the local, state, and national level. On Thursday February 6th, Planned Parenthood and Minnesota360 held a caucus training and informational session at the University of Minnesota during which we discussed what caucusing is and why it’s important. The session focused on how to become a delegate for a specific presidential candidate, something especially relevant for the 2020 elections.
Eat, drink, and share stories about how environmental sustainability intersects with complex issues and our own stories! We’ll gather in the Food Lab each month to explore a new topic, grounded in a shared reading/listening and our own experiences with the topic. All are welcome! (even if you didn’t do the homework)
Last Thursday of the Month, 5-6:30pm in Hagfors 108
(Readings updated before each event – check back!)
*Theme = Fair Trade
*Theme = Zero Waste
- Reading: Changing behaviors promises to impede plastics pollution
- Reading: Golden Girl
*Theme = Environmental Justice
Join and share on Facebook!