Guest post from Ashlan Runyan, First Year, Seattle University

This past Monday, Sustainable Student Action (SSA) – the student environmental group at Seattle University working on divestment – held a rally with over 125 students and community members in attendance.

That sentence continues to blow me away as a speaker at the rally, a member of SSA and a student at Seattle University. The rally was held in response to the official no to divestment received six weeks ago by our administration. We are by no means taking no for an answer and we needed a way to tell them that in a big way, one that would also bring the larger community together so that in one voice we could remind them that we are committed to divest.  This Monday, we certainly succeeded in doing that.


The no that Seattle University has received from our administration is wildly contradictory to the mission of our school, especially one so connected to the Catholic Church. We are supposed to be an institution rooted in social justice and the creation of a “just and humane world” and, simply put, rejecting divestment rejects this sort of world. Saying no to divestment and no to the political and moral statement that this action would make is, in many ways, saying no to the world we want to see, the world we need to see. My university has taught me to work tirelessly for a world that is truly sustainable and just, meaning a world that includes economic justice, racial justice, and climate justice. The intersectionality of divestment is something that is essentially written into the mission statement of our university. The support at the rally from our community reminded me in a very tangible way that the people working directly on divestment are not the only people who realize this. We all see it. We all know that divestment must happen. We all know that this conversation is far from over and that there is an incredible amount of work to be done.

I know that divestment is possible, it has to be. I know that the world needs to change and that we cannot wait. The urgency of it all is energizing and motivating, but in light of a “no”, it can also be incredibly daunting.  Even then, we cannot allow the no’s that our administrations have given us, instead we must maintain a posture of hope and dedication. As Bill Moyer, co-founder of Backbone Campaign and speaker at the rally, said, “We are co-creators of this universe and we need to be co-authors of this world and that’s what we’re doing as a divestment campaign, we are authoring the future.”  This action was essential in re-grounding our movement in collaboration, solidarity, energy and hope for a world that we know needs to exist.

The post FOR A JUST AND HUMANE WORLD: Seattle University Continues to Work for Divestment appeared first on Fossil Free.

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