Campuses Mobilize to Demand Action on Sustainability Worldwide

January 30, 2012 in Activism by Jamie Bennett

Earth Day Network and Partners Launch MobilizeU to Galvanize Campus Activism

WASHINGTON – Scores of college and university campuses from across the world launched an initiative today to implement sustainable change at their institutions and demand international environmental leadership. As international action to address climate change and other environmental issues remains stalled, MobilizeU, a project of Earth Day Network, seeks to amplify campus sustainability efforts and activism to new levels worldwide.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in sustainability-related programs and innovations on college and university campuses. As a result, MobilizeU is not only a movement of youth calling for global environmental change, but an international competition between colleges and universities that encourages students to engage their campus communities in four weeks of environmental activism surrounding Earth Day 2012 and beyond.

“In the face of inaction by international leaders, college campuses are once again rising up – like they did on the first Earth Day in 1970 – and demonstrating that environmental protection and sustainable change are possible,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “MobilizeU seeks to empower this new generation of leaders and provide them with the support needed to achieve their collective aims worldwide.”

From March 29 to April 29, 2012, student participants will mobilize their campuses to generate as many “acts of green” as possible by organizing activities like registering new youth voters, reducing their institutions’ greenhouse gas emissions, holding student demonstrations and educating their communities at Earth Day events.

Every act of green will contribute to Earth Day Network's global A Billion Acts of Green® initiative, a call to action that will be presented to world leaders at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June, 2012. Students will also be actively encouraging their college administrations to adopt and implement the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and the Billion Dollar Green Challenge – two high-visibility, multi-million dollar commitments already involving hundreds of campuses.

To implement the MobilizeU campaign, Earth Day Network is partnering with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the United Nations Environment Programme-TUNZA, Second Nature, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Earth Island Institute, Mobilize.org, iMatter, SustainUS, and Recyclemania, among others.

“College students have long been at the forefront of the environmental movement,” said Carra Cheslin, MobilizeU coordinator at Earth Day Network. “Now, with MobilizeU, students across six continents – from Cornell University to the University of South Africa – will have a significant platform to amplify their demands for sustainability both on campus and on the international level.”

The list of participating schools is growing and already includes Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Vanderbilt University, Gettysburg College, Macalester College, Drexel University, James Madison University and the University of Michigan. Internationally, schools such as the University of South Africa, Universidad Belgrano, University of Split/University of Zagreb, and Griffith University in Australia, have signed up.

To learn more about MobilizeU, including how to sign up as a student coordinator, visit the project’s website here: www.earthday.org/MobilizeU. More information about A Billion Acts of Green® can be found here: act.earthday.org.

###

Earth Day Network mobilizes over one billion people in 192 countries through year-round advocacy, education, public policy and consumer campaigns to protect the environment.