Tue, 15 Oct 2013 16:37:00 CDT — by: Clesi Bennett, C'13, Sustainability Post-Baccalaureate Fellow
A lunch with Dr. Sid Brown on October 2nd kicked off Sewanee's month of sustainability as she lead a discussion on what the AASHE conference offers to students, what they as individuals hope to gain from it, and what they can bring back to Sewanee afterward.
On October 6th, Sewanee brought 24 undergraduate students to the annual AASHE (the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) sustainability conference at the new LEED- silver certified Music City Center in downtown Nashville. This group of students was able to participate in the student summit, giving them chances to connect and network with other students from around the country. Throughout the day, our students attended workshops and informational sessions on building sustainability into their futures and career paths, becoming student leaders on campus, environmental justice, fossil fuel divestment, sustainability in relation to entrepreneurship, green revolving funds, food issues on campus, and more.
One of the highlights of the day was co-founder and managing partner of Fight for Light, Inc., Markese W. Bryant’s student summit keynote address. Bryant spoke on the integral role that racial minorities play in the sustainability movement and our need to make the movement more inclusive to hear these voices. Students were also given the opportunity to hear Raj Patel, the AASHE conference opening keynote speaker. Patel is an author, journalist, and food policy expert who spoke on a myriad of issues including globalization, food policy, culture, and communities’ rights to land. Both speakers were engaging and kept with the overall theme of the conference: resiliency and adaptation.
Before heading back to Sewanee, the group was able to talk and network with the many vendors in the expo hall, including EcoProducts, Flo Water, Lucid Design Group, National Wildlife Federation, Northwest Earth Institute, RideShark, Waste Management, and various graduate programs. At this time, students were also able to meet Raj Patel and get their books signed. Overall, it was a successful day of motivation, innovation, learning, and networking!