In the late 19th century, feminists were raising their voices against the many injustices that women endured. Along with the right to vote, these activists spoke out against one of the most sacred vows of the time: marriage.
One of the most impactful forms of activism of the time came through the power of the written word. Newsletters, pamphlets, essays…these ladies spread the word in whichever way they could.
Historically, independent media was founded on the basis of social, political and economic reform. The idea is simple: if there is a problem, independent outlets would go against the grain of mainstream media in order to call out the injustices perpetuated by the government.
In light of Michael Brown, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and the ongoing national debate regarding institutionalized racism, students at Ithaca College held the school’s first diversity town hall meeting. Student leaders gathered this afternoon to discuss and brainstorm ideas to work toward a more diverse campus, focusing primarily on diversity issues related to the college’s African, Latino/a, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) community, but also including topics such as gender and sexually.
Instead of just talking about the issue, students were asked to come up with specific solutions to problems in which they feel are directly related to a lack of diversity on campus. Maybe someone of color was given odd looks as soon as they stepped into a room full of white people. Maybe someone received microaggressive comments from a peer and didn’t know how to handle it. Maybe there aren’t enough professors of color in a school. How can we address these issues, and, more importantly, what are we going to do to prevent these things from happening again?
School administrators sat in on the meeting and took note of the various suggestions that students had for diversifying the campus. Students also participated in a series of discussion-based activities, such as filling out an identity worksheet in order to share the most salient parts of their identity.
The town hall meeting today served as the infrastructure to a future of possibilities. The idea here was to start planning a course of action–what can we do as students to help make the campus a more inviting place for students of color? We’ve had endless discussions about the problem, so now it’s time to actually do something about it.
What do banjo playing, slam poetry and solar energy all have in common? On their own, not a lot. But when you put them together, you get The Solutions Grassroots Tour.
Solutions Grassroots, created by Oscar-nominated director and environmental activist Josh Fox, is an educational workshop whose goal is to motivate people across the country to adopt renewable energy solutions. With the help of the International WOW Company, Fox and his team of environmentalists travel from town to town in order to produce an “interactive music, theater and film event” that helps “develop renewable energy through culture and grassroots democracy” and “campaign for pro-renewable energy legislation.” Previous guest hosts have included Mark Ruffalo and Phylicia Rashad.
The tour swung by Ithaca College this weekend, giving environmental activist groups from Tompkins county the opportunity to participate in the ongoing discussion of environmental safety.
One of the main groups present at the tour was GoGreenNY, the state’s leading organization working toward a sustainable future. The organization, which hosted the event, started out as an effort to protest against hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking“, but has since expanded to advocate for innovative strategies for renewable energy.