This is a cross-post from Julia Worcester, a student divestment activist from Fieldston High School in New York City

Fossil Free Fieldston (1) A committed and growing group of students at Fieldston High School in the Bronx hope that the ethical case for going fossil free will lead their Board of Trustees to agree that divestment is a no-brainer – after all, the full name of our school is the Ethical Culture Fieldston School (ECFS)! I and several other members of Fieldston High’s Environmental Club attended Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein’s “Do the Math Tour” event in Manhattan on November 16, 2012. Energized by Bill and Naomi, we took the divestment case to the club as a whole, and we were off and running.

In a February 2013 meeting with the ECFS Head of School, the Chief Financial Officer, and the principal of the high school (ECFS consists of two lower schools, a middle school, and a high school, and has an endowment of around $50 million), we linked our arguments for divestment to Fieldston’s mission, telling the administrators that, “ECFS must make global warming a priority because science has shown that the changes it will cause to Earth’s environment, if allowed to continue unchecked, could ultimately endanger the future of every Fieldston student, and every member of the community. Working toward a livable climate is a critically important way to uphold our school’s central mission of education on behalf of a just, ethical, and sustainable world.”

The administrators requested a detailed proposal. Our Head of School has agreed to share our proposal with the ECFS Board of Trustees, and to encourage the trustees to meet with our group. In the meantime, we are holding roundtables with speakers from Barnard Columbia Divest (thanks Joe Shortsleeve and Daniela Lapidous!) and the Responsible Endowment Coalition (thank you Reagan Richmond!), a “Community Day” event on divestment, and other events to begin to educate the broader ECFS community about the case for fossil free divestment.  We now have a detailed proposal and FAQ document, a Powerpoint presentation on the case for a fossil-free Fieldston that used the PPT presentation on, and buttons and posters on the way.

We hope that ECFS will be the FIRST independent school to divest its holdings in fossil fuel companies, putting them into renewables instead. Onward, Fossil Free Fieldston!