PRESS RELEASE: University Academic Senate Votes on Divestment + Student Rally

UIUC Beyond Coal is having a rally before the Academic Senate’s votes on socially responsible investment of the University’s endowment. The event will feature students and alumni from the UIUC Beyond Coal campaign, as well as professors with experience in environmental justice. UIUC Beyond Coal is pressuring the university to stop investing in environmentally destructive and financially imprudent and coal mining and energy.

Who: Speakers include:
Jackie Genova and Joe Edwards, UIUC Beyond Coal co-presidents
MJ Oviatt, UIUC Beyond Coal member
Marshaun Montgomery, Student Senate representative
Tyler Rotche, UIUC alumnus and former Beyond Coal president
Dr. Zsuzsa Gille, Associate Professor of Sociology at UIUC
There will also be a short musical performance and a poem recitation.

When: Monday, April 4th, 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Where: University Main Quad
Adjacent to Illini Union
1401 West Green Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801

Background: UIUC Beyond Coal is demanding that the university divest its endowment from coal interests. The divestment movement is dedicated to recognizing that coal is a dirty and dangerous fuel that pollutes our communities and our politics, and therefore to pushing for the removal of all investments in the coal industry. In 2010, the University pledged to stop coal use by 2017, in addition to imposing other conservation goals.  To date, this promise has not been kept; no changes in amount of coal use have been made since 2012. In 2013, students at UIUC voted 6:1 to divest from fossil fuels and in 2015, the Student Senate passed a resolution recommending divestment with an overwhelming majority. The voice of the students has been largely ignored, as the University continues to refuse to divest its $5.1 million in coal holdings. In an age where acknowledging climate change is of the utmost importance, any institution which claims to be a center for progress has a moral responsibility to distance itself from the fossil fuel industry.

The resolutions going before the Academic Senate on April 4 would change how the University dedicates its funds to screen for unethical investments such as coal energy.

Visuals: Everyone will wear orange patches (national symbol of divestment movement); Banners, including a $5.1 million check from the University to the coal industry, will be displayed at various locations across the quad.

Interested in getting involved? Contact us at uiucbeyondcoal@gmail.com, message our facebook page, or call us at (815) 219-1436.

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