Climate Change and Colonialism: Lessons from the Puerto Rican Environmental Movement

Sat, Feb 29, 2020, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Location: 
010 East Pyne Hall

How are activists in Puerto Rico–which faces extreme weather, unpayable debt, and exploitation by the government in Washington–responding to climate change? How can climate activists in the U.S. support Puerto Rican movements, and what can they learn from them? In this event, the Pace Center student organization Princeton Environmental Activism Coalition (PEAC) seeks to center the experiences of communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and to discuss the links between colonial government and the climate crisis in Puerto Rico today.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 29 in 010 East Pyne Hall with a two-hour panel on climate justice and decolonization. Two prominent Puerto Rican environmental activists, Arturo Massol (Casa Pueblo) and Ruth Santiago (Comité Diálogo Ambiental), as well as legal scholar Prof. Rafael Cox-Alomar (David A. Clarke School of Law) will be in conversation with discussants from Princeton. This will be followed by a Q&A session. The second part of the event, beginning at 1 p.m., is a practical workshop on community organizing. Like the Grassroots Organizing 101 workshop series last semester, the workshop will include presentations from each speaker, break-out groups for students to apply the speakers’ lessons to their own areas of activism, and full-group discussion. The workshop is open to all, regardless of past experience with organizing, group affiliation, or particular area of activism. While the workshop leaders’ focus is environmental issues, the practical lessons will be applicable to all student activists and organizers. A vegetarian lunch will be served. Contact Kenji Cataldo with any accessibility requests.

Sponsored by: the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Pace Center, the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice, the the Princeton Student Climate Initiative, the Program in Latin American Studies, and USG Projects Board.

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