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Year on Climate Change

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The Climate Equity and Justice: Solutions and Action conference, October 4-6, has something for everyone. We hope you will join us no matter your passion or background. Climate change affects all of us and everyone has a place in the important work we need to do to address it. Learn about our diverse roster of speakers and register at the conference site.

What Is the Year on Climate Change?

The Year on Climate Change is for creators, thinkers, problem-solvers, scientists, writers, engineers, educators, activists, entrepreneurs, economists, sociologists, and all members of Smith’s community. We welcome students, staff, faculty, and alums to attend events throughout the year, beginning with the conference in October, 2019.  

The Year on Climate Change is a year-long, campus-wide series of programs examining the issues and inequities of climate change. The idea of a themed year came from the Study Group on Climate Change, who recommended that the college plan and implement themed, yearlong, campus-wide programs that bring the Smith community together for an in-depth examination of focused aspects of climate change.

The goal of the year is for the entire Smith community, including alumnae, to engage in curricular and co-curricular programming that catalyzes or deepens their dedication to tackling this urgent problem. We also hope to expand opportunities for students to learn about climate-action initiatives outside of the classroom and to live more sustainably on campus.

Evolving Programming and Keystone Events

Solutions in Action: Climate Equity and Justice Conference

The year will open with a conference focusing on climate equity and justice. Conference programming will facilitate dialogue among attendees, and will focus on effective or promising solutions for combating climate change. We will showcase local and global models of inclusive and community-based decision-making for climate solutions.

All members of the Smith community, including students and alumnae, are encouraged to participate in the conference. Students will focus on increasing their knowledge about women and community-driven solutions to climate risks. At the conference we hope to increase connections among alumnae, faculty and students interested in doing this critical work.

The Climate Equity and Justice Conference will have three topic tracks:

  1. Energy solutions: community-based innovations and transformations
  2. Sustainable food: access, growth, and distribution
  3. Coastal zones: adaptive, resilient, and prepared for living and working*
    *This track will also host the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures program reunion to celebrate its 20-year anniversary of research and children’s education in Belize.
Other Areas of Engagement

Kahn Institute: Two projects will be held during the themed year. One focuses on social ecology in the context of conflict resolution, human rights and the homeostatic regulation opportunities that arise in deep listening. The second project focuses on interdisciplinary art projects that respond to climate change.

Course work: Faculty will modify existing courses and offer new courses that intersect with climate change in new and interesting ways. Structured conversations are taking place and curricular enhancement grants are available through CEEDS to support this work.

Smith Reads: This first-year reading program has taken place since 1999 and will focus on a contemporary text relevant to climate change during the themed year. An existing committee is tasked with selecting the final text and sculpting programming.

Opportunities for Further Discussion and Engagement

We want to hear from you! Now is the time to help build this initiative. Members of the Smith community are creating and conceptulaizing every day. To get involved, please contact Rachael Wein, sustainability and campus planning manager, or Denise McKahn, faculty director of CEEDS. Use this form to give us your feedback and ideas for programming.

Graphic logo for Year on Climate Change Academic Year 2019-20