OVERVIEW OF THE COMMITTEE
[The committee is currently considering a new structure and division of labor. Here is a proposal developed in July 2020 for its future work.]
Climate change is a fact. The wider and deeper the understanding of its nature, its causes and its impact, the more effective the PSC can be in crafting an appropriate response.
Clearly, in the realm of public policy, responses to climate change raise questions of environmental justice that, directly and indirectly, now and over the long term, affect the CUNY community and the city of which it is a crucial part. We believe that the PSC must work actively within the university and with allies outside to share information and mobilize support for initiatives that place racial and class equity at the center of public responses to the climate crisis. Our particular focus is the CUNY community and its constituency.
The Environmental Justice Working Group will:
- work with our City University partners to widen and deepen the understanding across the CUNY community of the nature, causes and impact of climate change
- take a census of faculty who teach climate change-related courses as well as those who administer climate related initiatives centrally and on the campuses;
- coordinate CUNY-wide discussions of the possibilities for information sharing and collaboration;
- support CUNY’s clean energy and community solar efforts, and the many campus-based initiatives that elevate environmental justice issues through teaching, activism, and the building of community a
- work to define a distinctive PSC perspective on what an environmental justice agenda for CUNY should look like;
- evaluate the most effective ways to collaborate with environmental justice groups outside the university, and particularly our sister unions;
- hold forums and workshops to facilitate the above.
We believe that these objectives are not only legitimate in themselves for a social movement union, but have the potential to draw additional members to an active role in union life.
POLICY RESOLUTIONS BY THE PSC, INCLUDING PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS FOR ITS NATIONAL (AFT) AND STATE (NYSUT) AFFILIATES
Environmental Justice Committee Meetings will be in two parts -- (1) a business meeting and (2) a speaker. Until further notice, meetings will be on Zoom, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Upcoming Monthly Meetings:
Monday, April 12, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
The intersection of race, agriculture, food and climate justice. We are honored to have Malik Yakini, a major force in the Black urban farming movement and the Black farmer movement in the US. He will talk about the importance of land and agriculture in the history of Black people in the US and the effects on wealth and health in African American communities. He will tie that into food and climate justice and offer some of the political landscape of Black-led organizing in this intersection. No doubt it will be an important and productive discussion. We are inviting the PSC Racial Justice Committee to join us as well to enhance our discussion and to create more unity of purpose.
Monday, May 10, 5:30 - 7:30 pm -- Presentations and discussion on what food/climate-related policies and campaigns are happening in NYC and CUNY and how we can support/join these efforts.
Events of Note
Rally and March to Support the CCIA and THRIVE, Wed., April 7, 5 pm Union Sq. (south end): Short rally marching to Washington Sq. AFT is supporting this effort nationally and the PSC is supporting this locally.
NEWSLETTER Check out our spiffy new newsletter edited by Ron Spalter:
RESOURCES AND LINKS: National
CUNY and New York