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Sustainability Engagement

Coming Together for
Climate Action


Sustainability Action Plan   Make a Sustainability Pledge

Western's Sustainability Engagement Institute develops educational opportunities and systems-change for a more sustainable, just future. Among its many responsibilities, the institute convenes the President’s Sustainability Council in order to progress the goals established by the university’s Sustainability Action Plan.

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BJ Cummings Headshot
Dec 01
Virtual, Thursday, Dec 1, 11am-12pm

BJ Cummings,

The health of neighbors, fishing families, and recreational users of Seattle's Duwamish River is directly affected by the legacy of toxic dumping in the river and surrounding areas. The river was listed as a "Superfund" site requiring cleanup in 2001, but EPA regulations do not account for the cumulative impact of residents' exposures to pollution in the river, air, and neighborhood soils that plague the Duwamish Valley. This talk will examine how local residents, tribes, and immigrant fishing families in this "environmental justice" community are collecting their own data and advocating for a health protective cleanup of their land, air and water, as well as challenging the environmental policies and institutions that have failed to protect them throughout history.

Activism Photo of people protesting
Dec 01
AW-204: Thursday, Dec 1 - 4:30 pm

Maya K. van Rossum & Debra Lekanoff,

The truth is, our laws are designed to accommodate pollution as much as, perhaps even more than, to prevent it. As a result people feel powerless when it comes to preserving the quality of their water, air, public parks, and natural spaces. But there is a solution for achieving better, and much needed, protection of our environment: bypass the laws and turn to the ultimate authority—our state and federal constitutions.

Students protesting for climate change
Jan 12
AW-204: Thursday, Jan 12 - 4:30 pm

Nick Engelfried

Founder of Reconnect Earth and author of Movement Makers: How Young Activists Upended the Politics of Climate Change. In this talk, author and educator Nick Engelfried will read excerpts from Movement Makers: How Young Activists Upended the Politics of Climate Change (movementmakersclimate.com [movementmakersclimate.com]), and share insights gained from writing and researching a book that explores how more than two decades of youth climate activism brought us to this political moment.