We are excited to share an important update about Better Future Project and the national campus divestment movement!
Since 2012, Better Future Project (BFP) has been providing support to student fossil fuel divestment campaigns in coordination with groups like 350.org and the Divestment Student Network (DSN). We have funded a full-time organizer position to provide deep and ongoing training and mentorship to students for the past six academic years. We have run immersive summer organizing training programs, led day-long mass trainings for budding student climate organizers, planned mass multi-campus student actions, and run year-long organizing fellowships for dedicated divestment organizers. Among our most notable victories were helping students win first coal, then full fossil fuel divestment in the University of Massachusetts system (the first major public university to fully divest from fossil fuels), full divestment from Lesley University, and partial coal and tar sands divestment from Boston University.
The most recent cohort of students from our 2017-18 Climate Organizing Fellowship with members of our Campus Divestment Advisory Committee!
We noticed that in 2017, most other organizations supporting campus fossil fuel divestment either closed down or pivoted away from campus divestment, and that we were the only organization in the nation still providing dedicated support to campus divestment campaigns. This came as a bit of a surprise to us, as we see fossil fuel divestment in general and campus organizing in particular as continuing strategic imperatives for our movement. Campus divestment does not just call critical attention to the issue of climate change; it also provides a training ground for the next generation of climate activists. And we know that this fight is a long one, and that we will need continuous waves of strong leaders for years to come.
That is why we are excited to announce that starting this summer, Better Future Project will begin helping to support and coordinate the national student fossil fuel divestment movement!
We will be expanding our student organizing team and spending the months of May-August planning deeply for how to connect to students and campaigns and to structure our teams and work that will help carry divestment forward into its next chapter.
Sign up here if you’d like to stay updated on our upcoming national campus organizing work. We are planning to host video conference calls this summer to get ideas, input, and interest about our national work for this fall. We have ideas, but we want students, faculty, and alumni to be involved in shaping them.
And if you or someone you know would be a good fit to join our growing team as a Campus Organizer, we are now hiring!
Between the two of us, we have spent twelve years directly organizing in or supporting the fossil fuel divestment movement. We know that divestment, like climate change, is a long-term fight, even as we deeply feel the urgency driving our actions. We know that this work can be isolating, lonely, and hard, and yet that through it, we can find meaning, form deep bonds, and help enact real change.
We are humbled and honored to help take the divestment movement to the next level, and hope that we can count on your support, partnership, and leadership.
Alyssa Lee, Campus Programs Manager & Craig S. Altemose, Executive Director