Blog post and photos from Cristina DuQue, Southeast Fossil Free Organizer.

It’s been a week since hitting the road on the Southeast Divestment Trainings Tour and already I am amazed by students across the region who are working tirelessly to ensure a future free of climate destruction.

In the past, our politicians and administrators have denied or ignored climate science, leaving the reality of the climate crisis out of even environmentally focused projects and dialogue. But now, students are ensuring that our administrators and elected officials are no longer getting away with business as usual when it comes to climate change. In the Southeast, we’re scaling up our divestment campaigns and blazing the trail for other campuses to follow until our campuses are forced to address this crisis.

Our regional divestment movement is growing bigger and stronger every day. Here are the highlights:

So far I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Sewanee TN, a quaint southern town where Sewanee University of the South is located. Students at Sewanee have been working with financial experts to prove that an ethical portfolio doesn’t have to mean less returns on investments. In Nashville, TN, the birthplace of country music, students at Vanderbilt University are working to build power across all facets of campus making sure their Board of Trustees have no option but to say yes to divest.

In Knoxville, TN students at the University of Tennessee have passed both a student resolution and overwhelming referendum in support of divestiture. 80 percent of the student body voted in support of a fossil free portfolio. And now, they’re working to bring the largest delegation of students from campus ever to attend Power Shift in October. Faculty and alumni are a major focus of the campaign this semester, as students reach out to push forward a faculty resolution to divest.

In Boone, NC, Fossil Free Appalachian State leaders are getting ready to launch one of the largest petition drives their campus has ever seen. Pretty soon everyone on campus will know about divestment and the need to get serious about the future of our planet.

It has been so inspiring to see how students across the region are rising to the challenge of  our generation.  Big things are happening, y’all, so keep an eye on the South.