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iSEE discussion with iMatterNow representatives

Posted by Morgan White on June 20, 2016

iSEE Director Evan DeLucia and Associate Director Madhu Khanna met with student representatives from the iMatterNow organization.  iSEE connected these students with on-campus student groups, including the Student Sustainability Leadership Council and the Students for Environmental Concerns.  The original email inquiry is below:

"Hello, Dr. DeLucia.

My name is Rebecca Laurent, and I am a sophomore studying NRES and Political Science. I wanted to talk with you about an initiative that I am working on.

I currently serve as the Regional Organizer for the Central US for an organization called iMatter, which was founded by a 13 year-old with the vision of giving young people a voice on the climate crisis. We recently kicked off a campaign, called iMatterNow, that is focused on achieving progress at the city-level. At the core of the campaign is a "Report Card" that assesses how well a city is doing in reducing emissions to the level needed to prevent the worst effects of climate change (based on a report by Jim Hansen that we must reduce emissions by 6% annually). Students complete the report card with municipal data in categories such as waste, carbon removal, and GHG emissions.

Eventually, the students present the results of the report card along with petition signatures they have collected in their school and community and ask that they pass a resolution or ordinance. The ultimate aim of the campaign is to have cities adopt a more aggressive Climate Action Plan in the context of achieving a higher grade on the "Report Card".

Students are doing the iMatterNow campaign in various cities across the US and in Toronto. I am working with high school students at Champaign Central and Urbana High School to bring this campaign to Champaign-Urbana. I hope to get UIUC students involved in this effort in the community as well as on campus. Recently, we have discussed making adjustments to the Report Card to evaluate universities as opposed to cities. 

If you are interested and available, I would love to speak with you or someone else at the ISEE about the local iMatterNow campaign and your thoughts on the report card and introducing the campaign to college campuses. Please let me know if this is a possibility! I will be on campus all summer, and I'm pretty flexible.

Thank you,

Rebecca Laurent