Living Climate Futures - A Two-Day Symposium
Climate change does not happen alone. It is always bound up with other things: land dispossession, eroding infrastructure, industrial pollution, job loss, water and food insecurity, racial discrimination, and more. Living Climate Futures invites frontline climate and environmental justice activists to campus and demonstrates a collaborative approach to pressing problems, one that does not merely ask after the “social impacts” of climate change and mitigation strategies on diverse communities, but instead is led by research agendas that center community needs, experiences, and priorities. Living with climate change means grappling with deteriorating economic and environmental conditions in the present, while planning for uncertain futures.
Friday, April 22 Earth Day
Urban Farming and Food Justice (10-11am The Nexus, Hayden Library)
Environmental and food justice activists from GreenRoots Chelsea will join Walt Bonham and Amanda Stanfield — urban farmers from Mansfield, Ohio — to discuss the regeneration of American cities from the ground up. Speakers will compare notes on the environmental condition of urban lands, the communities that urban farms serve, and the political strategies that have been successful in each city. Registration required.
Virtual Tour of Southeast Chicago with high school student activists (11:30-1pm The Nexus, Hayden Library)
Trinity Colón, Alejandra Cruz, Gregory Miller, and Destiny Vasquez — youth activists from the Environmental Justice Club at Southeast Chicago’s George Washington High School (featured in Teen Vogue) — will be on campus to facilitate a live discussion between MIT students and their classmates back in Southeast Chicago, who will share a virtual tour of their neighborhood. Registration required.
Indigenous Earth Day at MIT (2:30-5pm Stata Amphitheater)
We celebrate Earth Day with an afternoon of testimonials, stories, and lively discussion among Indigenous leaders and thinkers from the Southeast (Lumbee Nation), the Pacific Northwest (Lummi Nation), and the North American Indian Center of Boston. Speakers will share how Indigenous knowledges and methodologies inform their approaches to climate change and their projects of working for sovereignty and climate justice and in their regions and communities. MIT student groups dedicated to climate justice will close the afternoon by sharing about their efforts at MIT and beyond through an “open mic” format. Open to all.
Speakers: David Shane Lowry (Lumbee), Jay Julius W’tot Lhem (Lummi), Kurt Russo, Santana Rabang (Lummi), Donna Chavis (Lumbee), Ryan Emanuel (Lumbee), Jean-Luc Pierite (NAICOB).
Saturday, April 23
Environmental Justice and Climate Resilience Tours (9am-12:30pm)
Join one of 3 free guided walking tours! Buses leave from 77 Mass. Ave. Registration required. See website for details.
• GreenRoots environmental justice tour and community cleanup of Chelsea (including lunch! with a 1:30pm return)
• Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) Toxic Tour of Nubian Square, Roxbury
• The Food Project’s tour of its urban farming spaces in North Dorchester
Panel Discussions with our community partners (2-5pm, MIT Welcome Center, Kendall T)
Open to the public.
Justice for All
What are the ghosts of our ecological pasts? How have the cycles of land dispossession, extraction, industrialization, urbanization, de-urbanization and gentrification played out across American landscapes and people’s bodies? This panel will bring together Indigenous leaders and urban environmental justice activists to share their understanding of how justice and equality (or the lack of both) have aided profit-seekers in degrading environments and accelerating climate change.
Moderated by history professor Kate Brown
Envisioning Climate Futures
The closing session begins with an interactive “Community Visioning” exercise that will lead the audience in generating a collective, if varied, vision of livable climate futures. Drawing on that exercise, an intergenerational panel will reflect on the stories, struggles, and dreams that have been voiced during the two day symposium to consider how, by building on the good work already undertaken by communities living at the front lines of climate change, we might learn to thrive together across differences.
Moderated by anthropology professor Bettina Stoetzer
Living Climate Futures is sponsored by: Anthropology, STS, History, Project Indigenous MIT, MIT Office of Sustainability, and the SHASS Dean’s Office
Note: All events are free but some have limited availability and registration is required for all tours and events in The Nexus. To register, click HERE. NOTE: masks are optional inside all MIT buildings at this time.
MIT is committed to making our events accessible. Please email Carolyn Carlson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 14 to request accommodations for our on-campus events.