New in 2023
Divest UChicago aims to build infrastructure to support the fossil fuel divestment movement at the University of Chicago from an institutional perspective. We seek to build a broad coalition of student organizations, alumni, faculty, and other stakeholders; engage members of the administration in, open communication around divestment; and expand the reach of the campaign through work with media outlets and community organizations.
Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign
Starting with Public Engagement (Divest UChicago's precursor) work last year, Divest UChicago has been strategizing for UChicago’s fossil fuel divestment campaign. To do so, we collaborate with the Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) and work with the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Committee on Campus Sustainability (CCS). We learned about the historical context of divestment campaigns at other universities and UChicago, which we used to inform our process of updating the petition and outreach efforts of the campaign.
We worked in tandem with EJTF to discuss campaign strategy and petition demands, re-strategizing the divestment petition campaign with a focus on concrete and contextualized demands, accessibility, and broader outreach. Through this, we were able to update the campaign’s petition and launch a new website and social media outreach plan for broader community engagement
Divestival, Spring 2023
Over 200 students attended Divestival, a protest and concert to promote fossil fuel divestment and broader financial transparency for the University of Chicago’s endowment. The event had several speakers from undergraduate and graduate organizing groups, and four student bands (The Dirt Red Brass Band, Directrix, Puddlejumper, and Aag), along with a fundraiser coordinated by the Indigenous Students Association. In addition to collaborating with the Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) to create and coordinate the event, the Public Engagement team in particular assisted with concert set-up and clean-up, and making and distributing posters/signs for participants to hold.
Donuts and Divestment
In Winter Quarter 2022, Public Engagement, Divest UChicago's predecessor, focused on spreading awareness of the divestment from fossil fuels movement at UChicago. We partnered with the Environmental Justice Task Force (EJTF) on their divestment campaign to create an educational speaker event, showcasing what divestment is, how divestment has worked at other institutions, and how it could be implemented at UChicago.
Donuts and Divestment had 5 virtual panelists (Rutgers University, UW Madison, Responsible Alpha, Stanford) and a PSI + EJTF moderator. Our panelists were very supportive of the campaign efforts so far and knowledgeable and ranged in terms of fields (professors, students, financial advisors), allowing for a varied perspective.
Donuts awaiting, event moderator Sam Heintz leads a question and answer session between the audience and the five virtual panelists.