Who they are:
“We’re a club on campus dedicated to divestment,” Fossil Free Northwestern (FFN) executive member Sebastian Gomez-Parra said, adding that the club’s goal is to get “Northwestern to divest from fossil fuels while raising awareness.”
The organization is rooted in environmental justice, according to FFN President Keala Uchoa. Some of the club’s main focuses are to raise consciousness for what these terms actually mean and apply these frameworks to geopolitical issues while “trying to put enough pressure on Northwestern to recognize formally and publicly the hypocrisy of this institution.”
Gomez-Parra added that whenever scientists come out with a report, the results are worse than previously projected. For many years, climate change has had genocidal effects on a global scale, and will continue to do so, Uchoa said. According to a study conducted by the Stimson Center, there is an increasing relationship between climate change, mass atrocities and genocide.
“[Northwestern is] situated on stolen indigenous land,” Uchoa said. “That contributes to industries that directly lead to health disparities that disproportionately affect poor people of color, including communities that students on this campus are from, communities next door in Evanston, communities in Chicago and communities all over the world.”
What they are up to right now:
Last year, FFN wrote a proposal that was recommended to the Board of Trustees by the Advisory Committee for Investment Responsibility.
“That is the first time that has ever happened in Northwestern’s history,” Uchoa said. “That’s huge bureaucratic and institutional momentum that we’re building off of.”
Uchoa added that because the board has not yet publicized their decision, it is most likely a no. She also said the committee is not usually very transparent, and that in the near future, FFN will know what the decision was. From there, Uchoa hopes to move forward, rewrite and better the proposal.
Why Fossil Free NU?
Fossil Free Northwestern goes beyond simply talking about climate change. Students can do research for the divestment proposal and focus on direct action on or off campus.
“Here, we talk about [climate change], but we want everyone talking about it, and we want something done about it,” Stent said. “All of us are really passionate about actually taking action, having events, writing this proposal and getting it passed, not just talking about why climate change is bad."