Downtown New York. The place I belong. Political, social and economic stability. For future generations to ENJOY the places I have. Clear night skies and stars. Acadia National Park. Beautiful wooded parks and trails. The beauty and magic of Cape Cod. Family in Vietnam. Peace in the world. Biodiversity. These are all things Ursinus students, staff and faculty wrote on ribbons as part of the national Climate Ribbon Project to express places or things they fear losing to global climate instability. The campus project, a joint effort between Hillel and Sustainability, welcomed participation from all campus members.
On Sunday, September 21st, people from around the country met in New York City for the People’s Climate March – the largest march against climate instability in world history with close to 400,000 marchers. This march was planned to coincide with the UN Climate Summit in NYC. By creating and sharing their fears on ribbons, people from all around the United States who are passionate about ending climate instability were able to connect with one another and recommit to working for change. Rabbi Michael Ramberg, the Ursinus College rabbi who collaborated with sustainability staff to organize Ursinus College’s participation commented that, “Climate change is overwhelming, so it’s important to have the feeling that others are supporting you, and that’s where the act of sharing the ribbon with others comes in.” By coming together as a community to support each other and vowing to help end climate instability, participants left feeling a sense of connection and motivation.
When asked why it is important for college students to become involved in the fight against climate instability, Rabbi Ramberg commented that, “college students have great activist potential and have played leading roles in many social movements in the past and young college students will be very heavily affected by climate change and they will play a vital leadership role in society in future years, so the self- and collective awareness they gain through participation in the project is very important. It is also important for older generations to know the fear and grief college students feel facing climate change, as this might impel older folks to take action.”
Through this project it is clear that many people share in the fear of losing favorite places, things, and ways of life for not only themselves but also the next generation. By raising awareness and connecting individuals to the fight against global climate instability, we hope that Ursinus students will work together to help make a brighter future. Thank you to all of the students, faculty, and staff who participated and to Rabbi Ramberg for spearheading this effort in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability.
– By Olivia Keithley, Communications Fellow, Office of Sustainability