Clark group travels to Global Alternative Forum in Mexico

From December 4-11, Professor Dianne Rocheleau of the School of Geography at Clark University is traveling with a group of students, each actively engaged in issues of environment, development, social movements and climate change, to attend the Global Alternative Forum for Life & Environmental & Social Justice in Cancun, Mexico.  

The group will attend and participate in a forum convened by Via Campesina, a 200-million-member movement of farmers from around the world. The Global Alternative Forum for Life & Environmental & Social Justice is an alternative event to the U.N. Climate Change Conference, COP16, in Cancun, Mexico. The Clark students will attend selected COP16 side events in addition to the Via Campesina events.

“This trip presents a unique opportunity for students and faculty to engage in current international debates about one of the most prominent issues of our times,” Rocheleau says. “Our trip will be a fusion of research and building networks to develop diverse solutions to the dilemmas posed by climate change.”

* To read a blog about the trip, by Perry and Trull,  click here. *  

The Clark students traveling to Mexico are Callista Perry, a senior majoring in Global Environmental Studies; Celina Grisi ’10 (BA/ International Development and Social Change IDSC), who is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration; Robert Huttick ’09 (BA/Psychology), pursuing a master’s in Environmental Science and Policy; Ashley Trull ’09 (BA/ Global Environmental Studies), seeking a master’s degree in Community Development and Planning; and Jordan Reeves, a second-year master’s student in the IDSC program.

Rocheleau, Grisi and Reeves will work as interpreters in partial exchange for food and lodging assistance through Via Campesina.

The group will meet with and interview people from various civil society groups and government and academic institutions, sharing experiences and knowledge and learning about policy proposals concerning climate change, from mobilization to mitigation and adaptation.

After returning to Clark, Rocheleau and her students plan to prepare a campus-wide presentation/event to share the lessons learned on the trip as well as the implications of COP 16 and alternative approaches to addressing climate change.

Trip sponsors at Clark include the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise, The Higgins School of Humanities/Difficult Dialogues Initiative, Global Environmental Studies, School of Geography, Student Council Activist Fund, International Development, Community & Environment Department and the College of Professional and Continuing Education (COPACE).

Since its founding in 1887, Clark University in Worcester, Mass., has a history of challenging convention. As an innovative liberal arts college and research university, Clark’s world-class faculty lead a community of creative thinkers and passionate doers and offer a range of expertise, particularly in the areas of psychology, geography, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. Clark’s students, faculty and alumni embody the Clark motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.

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