AU Fossil Free’s Final Push – Open Community Meeting and Rally for Divestment

PRESS RELEASE                                                                              

May 17th, 2012

Contact: Deirdre Shelly, 717-645-7222,

Students will hold “Open Community Meeting” and rally for divestment after being shut out of Board of Trustees Meeting

Community to rally after Lisa Jackson’s endorsement as part of national movement on 320 college campuses

WASHINGTON DC—American University students are taking their demands directly to the Board on the heels of last weekend’s major endorsement from former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson during her commencement address.  

Fossil Free student organizers will hold an “Open Community Board Meeting” on Friday morning to pressure the Board to divest AU’s endowment from climate change caused by the fossil fuel industry.  This meeting will be held concurrently to the official Board of Trustees meeting where students were denied the opportunity to present.

During the rally, students representing Board Chair Jeffrey Sine and Investment Committee Chair Gary Cone will hear the student presentation.  They will decide to divest from fossil fuels and void a large check from AU’s endowment to the fossil fuel industry financing climate change and environmental destruction. Sine and Cone will present a large check to clean energy in order to lead the university into a socially responsible future.

This action follows last Friday’s delivery to President Neil Kerwin of supportive student government and faculty senate legislation as well as a resolution where 80% of students voted yes to divest. Students also lobbied the Board’s Finance and Investment Committee on Thursday afternoon.

WHO:  Speakers will include students Deirdre Shelly and David Shadburn of AU Fossil Free, Meredith Hollingsworth from AU United Methodists, Alex Hoffman President of AU College Democrats, alumni supporter Mary Schellentrager ‘10 with Energy Action Coalition, and Lili Molina, an environmental justice advocate who worked with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization on the 10-year campaign to successfully close the Crawford & Fisk coal plants in Chicago.

WHAT: As the Board of Trustees meets behind closed doors, divestment supporters will hold a public meeting and rally for fossil fuel divestment. Highlights of the meeting will include: students representing Board Chair Sine and Investment Committee Chair Cone, a presentation from Fossil Free students, an alumni speech, Lili Molina’s speech, the AU divestment robot, and a large check made out to AU’s clean energy future.

Main Quadrangle, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

Friday, May 17th, 10:00am-11:00am

 American University students have joined a nationwide campaign active on 320 campuses calling on universities to divest from 200 companies that hold the vast majority of the world’s oil, coal and gas reserves. Climate change caused by the unchecked burning of fossil fuels poses a critical threat to human life on earth.    Fossil fuel divestment supporters reject the idea that higher education should be financed by companies whose business plans guarantee there will not be a livable planet for the future

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