NJPIRG Earth Week!
NJPIRG students kicked off Earth Week with an environmental justice panel that we co-hosted with Rutgers University Student Assembly, Students for Environmental Awareness, Rutgers Amnesty International, and Rutgers Ethitech. Our panelists included David Hughes (professor of anthropology at Rutgers and the Climate Justice Chair of the faculty union, AAUP-AFT), Angela Oberg (Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University and administrative director of the President's Task Force for Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience), Paula Rogovin (retired NY public school teacher and community activist with Don’t Gas the Meadowlands Coalition), and Brian Ray (the chairman for the Environmental Justice Committee of the Newark-NAACP with a background in student activism at Rutgers). We had some great discussions about the intersections between social justice and environmental issues in addition to the power of grassroots student organizing. On Tuesday, we hosted a screening of The Story of Plastic followed by a discussion about the plastic pollution crisis and what we as students can do about it. Throughout the week we also hosted events to collect photo petitions, create social media posts, and gather petitions in support of our campaign to get Rutgers committed to 100% renewable energy by 2030. We also had some fun social events to celebrate the Earth including a trivia night, a paint and sip event, a plant potting event, and a blackout poetry event. We wrapped up Earth Week with a Voting and the Environment Panel on the importance of being civically engaged in our communities in terms of putting environmental protections into action. The panelists included Dr. Bethany Welch, professor of Urban Studies at Rutgers Camden with knowledge on civic engagement and putting environmental protections into place in cities, Tim Knievel, professor of Political Science who teaches a course on Environmental Politics at Rutgers Camden, and Nitan Shanas, Rutgers Camden Student Government Association President.
The Environmental Justice Panel from Monday, April 19th