This week, Smith College faculty members have started a petition that calls on Smith to divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. Throughout the four-year history of the fossil fuel divestment campaign at Smith College, faculty have stood with the movement and acted as leaders, allies, and resources.
Increasing consensus among the faculty that Smith urgently needs to divest its endowment has manifested in this petition, which calls “respectfully and urgently on Smith College (1) to freeze immediately all new investments in coal, oil and natural gas industries and (2) to commit to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds.”
This call to action comes at a key moment in history, with international leaders gathered at the U.N. climate summit in Paris to make commitments to reduce emissions and confront both the causes and impacts of climate change. If Smith is truly committed to preparing women to be global leaders, then it “must now acknowledge its own role in helping finance the disruption of the world’s climate”–which disproportionately impacts women, people of color, and marginalized peoples least responsible for climate change–by divesting from fossil fuels.