Thursday, September 10, 2009

FAMU to Host Green Summit for Student Leaders

The challenges related to global climate change and the need to be more sustainable have started to gain traction on the campus of Florida A&M University (FAMU).

On September 11-12, the FAMU Green Coalition will host a Green Summit to provide student leaders with the knowledge and resources to help combat global climate change. Registration for the Summit is open to one representative per FAMU student group on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We expect about 100 students to attend the Summit representing 60 different student organizations,” said LaRae Donnellan, FAMU journalism professor and cofounder of the FAMU Green Coalition. The Summit is registered with the “Green the Block National Day of Service,” organized by Green For All and the Hip Hop Caucus.

The Coalition has been leading efforts since December 2006 to educate students about the significant ecological, economic and social impacts of global climate change and empower students to address those impacts.

“Every student has the power and responsibility for creating a healthier environment,” said Jacqueline Hightower, SACS administrator and interim adviser for the Coalition. “College students have been at the forefront of many significant issues of the past, including the civil rights movement and combating apartheid in South Africa. Mitigating our carbon footprint is just as important.”

FAMU President James H. Ammons, Green For All Director Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, and Hip Hop Caucus President Rev. Lennox Yearwood will give video welcomes to the group. Nia Robinson, director of the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, is the keynote speaker Friday night. She will address the social justice and environmental racism aspects of global climate change.

Other workshops will address topics such as understanding global climate change and the energy-climate era; setting up a recycling program; living a green lifestyle; working with government to bring about change; and exploring the connection between global climate change and health. Speakers are coming from city, county and state government, FAMU and FSU; Sustainable Tallahassee; National Wildlife Federation; and Southern Energy Network. At the end of the Summit, the student leaders will commit to a plan of action for the year – including events for homecoming.

“At the Summit we'll be modeling how to host green events and cut down on our carbon footprint,” Hightower said. “This includes offering locally produced organic food, serving beverages in refillable mugs and reusing conference supplies.”

More information about the Summit and the Coalition is available by calling 599-8832.

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