Do you have something that interests you? That drives you? That inspires you? Do you know where to turn for support to engage with your ideas? Or, do you wonder how to filter through the multiple Holy Cross opportunities to pursue such interests boldly? Have you considered becoming an Ignite Fund Project-Based Learning Fellow?
As an Ignite Fund Project-Based Learning Fellow, I pursued my passion for the environment within the Worcester community through a project at Cookson Field. Initially, my Ignite Fund project began as a component of my College Honors thesis as I knew that I wanted to conduct field research while at Holy Cross. Soon after realizing that I wanted to incorporate fieldwork into my thesis, I began brainstorming locations for this research, and Cookson Field immediately came to mind due to the park’s proximity to campus (it’s a five minute walk away!).
However, I also knew that if I was going to study Cookson Field, I wanted to contribute something back to Cookson as a kind of thank you to the surrounding community and the place itself. Consequently, I developed a plan to remove a broken-down swing set and numerous unusable benches scattered throughout the park and to install a new bench. Additionally, I planned to plant trees and a pollinator garden in the park so that these improvements were aimed at enhancing the park experience for both people, plants, and animals alike. This plan to connect my ecology research with improvements to the park led me to consider the Ignite Fund and the J.D. Power Center for the support I needed to pursue such a project.
The Ignite Fund Project-Based Learning Fellowship is directed at students interested in connecting their academic interests with real-world problem-solving. The process to become an Ignite Fellow is straightforward. First, come up with a rough project idea and schedule a meeting with the director of the J.D. Power Center for a preliminary discussion of the project concept. Then, complete a short online application explaining the project, its connection to your Holy Cross coursework, and the budget (the applications are accepted three times throughout the year, so keep a look out for those dates). If the project receives approval, the only other steps (besides completing the project) include spending the funds within the six months in which they were approved and submitting a final report to the J.D. Power Center.
Through my fellowship experience, I gained invaluable skills in both grant writing, designing a community project, and collaborating with local organizations and agencies (e.g. Worcester Parks Department). I encourage students to think about all the possibilities the Ignite Fund and similar opportunities at Holy Cross hold as they continue to explore their curiosity and passions here on the Hill!
Kevin Johnson graduated from Holy Cross in 2019 with a double major in Economics and Environmental Studies. During the summer after his sophomore year, he volunteered at Association to Preserve Cape Cod, where he studied cyanobacteria and algal blooms in Cape Cod ponds. The next summer, he interned for the association and upon graduating, he took over a leadership position at APCC. I talked with Kevin about how Holy Cross prepared him for working in sustainability.
Q: How would you define the term “sustainability?” Has your understanding of what sustainability means changed throughout the course of your career?
Sustainability is, in my opinion, humans working in their communities from a global context. It’s important to envision the bigger picture, and in my work that has focused mostly on movement away from man-made solutions and chemical use to more sustainable and renewable biological solutions. It is important to see how sustainability fits into the grand scheme of things.
Q: How can students become involved in sustainable initiatives at school and in the workplace?
Become a part of on-campus groups, if you are looking to get involved with sustainability-geared clubs Eco-Action and HC Fossil Free are great options. Also, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone when it comes to classes can be hugely beneficial. I recommend Professor Hess’s philosophy classes that focus on environmental ethics if you’re generally more comfortable with science-heavy courses.
Q: What stereotypes about jobs in sustainability did you believe prior to working in the field?
I was under the impression that you needed to have much more experience than an undergraduate degree to work in the field as an active researcher. I’ve since learned that you don’t need to have a graduate degree, master’s, or PhD to work in sustainability and have good jobs.
Q: How do you see sustainability changing in the workplace in the next 5-10 years?
In the past several years, there has definitely been a shift in the general populations awareness surrounding sustainability and climate change. I see the next 5-10 years being a time where people who didn’t want to be involved in the past are more sympathetic to environmental initiatives now.
Interview paraphrased and blog post written by Anne Kiernan ’23.
Michael Mahoney, a Holy Cross ‘94 graduate who studied english, says he never envisioned himself working in sustainability. Immediately after graduating Holy Cross, Michael went on to attend Boston College Law School, which led him to work as a lawyer in governmental affairs and litigation in both Boston and Maine. In 2016, he transitioned to his current position as chief legal and compliance officer at L.L. Bean. I sat down and spoke with Michael about his experience working in the sustainability field.
Q: In what ways do you think a liberal arts education has benefited you in your career? In what ways has it (if any) impeded you?
A liberal arts education provided a base for diversified learning, giving me critical reading, writing, and thinking skills to learn in different environments. While I did feel somewhat unprepared immediately after graduation, employers are often very willing to provide new employees with the training necessary to make them feel more comfortable.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to any student at Holy Cross who is interested in sustainability?
Taking basic financing or accounting courses can be beneficial to any student in any field. Understanding these basic concepts will be helpful in any career, not just one in sustainability.
Q: What stereotypes about jobs in sustainability did you believe prior to working in the field?
This idea of an activist, Patagonia-wearing hiker is definitely what most people think of when they envision a person who works in sustainability. But that’s just not true. Sure, there are some people who fit the stereotype but it’s definitely not everyone. There’s also this belief that you need to lean heavily to one side politically, but your political affiliation has nothing to do with how credible or devoted you are to sustainable initiatives.
Q: How do you see sustainability changing in the workplace in the next 5-10 years?
There has been a shift in how people view sustainability, and it seems that more people are looking at sustainability as a civic responsibility. It’s not something that is going away anytime soon- the field of sustainability is only going to grow, and that might mean finding ways to incorporate sustainability into initiatives one might have never thought possible in the past.
For more career guidance in the sustainability field, join the Health Professions and Life Sciences Career Community in the College of the Holy Cross’ Center for Career Development.
Interview paraphrased and blog post written by Anne Kiernan ’23.
I had expected solitude on that cold February morning in the park. But there was a mallard, swimming contentedly in lazy circles. A shining emerald coat, a dark head bobbing against the water. I breathed in the fresh air, the hint of snow layered with traffic fumes from the road not too far away, and tried to understand. What was it doing here, on such a cold morning? Don’t birds usually head south during the bitter Massachusetts winters? I was mystified. I learned later, however, that sometimes, if the river doesn’t freeze, and there’s enough food, some birds will stay. I walk slowly along the bridge, listening. With every step, the snow sinks into my boots, and I’m grateful for the thick woolen socks my friend made for me. Each labored step is worth it though, when I spot the tracks of some small animal. A rabbit perhaps, or maybe one of the skunks that linger outside Dinand decided to pay a visit to the river, like me. There are birds singing, tiny puffball sparrows, that I could only spot when they shifted their perches among the trees. It was wonderful. But was it right? Did the river use to freeze? Was my peaceful solidarity with these creatures a portent, a judgment?
The next day, I go to mass and take communion. The questions still weighed on me as the wafer melted on my tongue.
People feel so hopeless. Humans suck, my friend says when we go back to our room after mass, and we all look up from our digital diet of horrible news and desperate GoFundMes to nod. I think about white-horned rhinoceros, and blue whales and sea leopards. Deforestation. Oil spills. And then again, my mind returns to the mallard.
Across America, wetlands are dug and up and paved over as business and housing developments expands. Far from “waste” lands however, wetlands offer a home to countless species, while filtering toxins through the water and soil and absorbing and slowly releasing floodwaters. We created landfills, and nature has created a place that can take in the runoff and produce flowers and cranberries and a home for turtles and dragonflies and frogs. And mallards.
When you first walk into Blackstone Gateway park, you can see a concrete and metal dam, rusted and stained a deep red. It’s remnant of the parks past, as it harnessed the power of the middle river to power the Iron and Wire works, another wheel spinning the Industrial Revolution forward as it churned up lands and lives worldwide. The giant had dug his knuckle into the land where the Nipmuck tribes used to fish, creating the canal that powered the mills that powered the city. And now, a park, where I realize just how little I know about birds.
I think about communion. I think about prayer, and I think about hope. Something can live again. Something can return.
The land does not have a destiny. It could have stayed the way it was, or changed slowly, with little or malicious human interference. But someone thought it could be more. And through the actions of many, now I can stand, enjoying its beauty just the birds enjoy the clean water and the bountiful food and the safe resting places.
These trees seem to huddle together as if they’re just as cold as I am. In the shuddering trees, something had made a nest. I can’t imagine the work that went in to, find every single stick and weave them together, like a mother knitting a blanket for her baby. I marvel, again and again, how even in winter, I could still hear bird calls. Hard work, and tender love, will have its reward. In the sanctuary of St. Joseph as rainbow light envelops me, I take communion. Out here, as the mallard lives his life as perfectly as he is meant and we both breather clean air, I take communion.
God’s alive, and she’s with me, and I’m with her.
In the spring, more birds will come back.
The earth offers us communion, if we will take it. If we dare. If we step outside our worry, our fear, our distraction. Let us let ourselves sink into glorious awareness, and rise into hope. It’s not just Blackstone. My sisters and I let our dog run along the pebbled shores of Lake Erie and his joy often propels him straight into the waves, clean waves, waves of water that have been healed because humans chose to heal them. Our choices matter. Bill McKibben often says, and scientists agree, that each degree and half-degree we keep the earth from rising means thousands, if not millions, of human and animal lives saved. A half degree rise is infinitely better than a degree rise is infinitely better than a degree and half rise is infinitely better than a two degree rise. Some scientists are beginning to speculate that wetlands could be a secret weapon against climate change as they absorb carbon and break down chemicals. Our ancestors built lives and homes, and some of them built a place to be with nature. We can build on that. In the spring, I will hike up behind the athletic fields and plant milkweed and wildflowers. The birds will return, and their love songs will fill the air. I asked my friends if they wanted to get trash bags and gloves to pick up the litter that lines the path to Blackstone, and they all agreed wholeheartedly. The earth is broken, and heals, and even if we’re afraid and unsure, stumbling like a hatchling on the edge of a twig, we can choose to be a healer.
A few days later, I return to Blackstone Park. The mallard drake is still there, but now he’s joined by a hen, petite and camouflaged in the brown shades of the reeds. They move in easy curves along the ripples of the water, the purpose of their path indiscernible to me. Across the other side of the bridge where I stand, a flock of geese is honking with the persistence of a fire alarm, announcing their presence to the world. I can’t help but think of Mary Oliver, and how often I’m unsure of where I belong in the family of things. Out here, though, at least it’s a little clearer.
You choose to take communion, when it is offered. Sometimes by a priest, offering a taste of grace. Sometimes by the people who came before you, who saw a polluted land and healed it. Sometimes, always, the earth holds out her hand, perpetually offering another chance. Sometimes even a mallard offers communion.
The Holy Cross community can now donate used, unwanted clothing and household goods to Hartsprings Foundation via an on-campus collection bin behind Alumni Hall.
Founded in 1997, Hartsprings Foundation “collects used, unwanted clothing and small household items on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs in Massachusetts and Connecticut.” Savers thrift stores purchase the donated goods from Hartsprings Foundation, providing revenue to financially support six Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program locations. To date, Hartsprings Foundation has raised millions of dollars, which has helped more than 2,500 at-risk children form meaningful 1on1 relationships with mentors.
Beyond Hartsprings Foundation’s financial support to change children’s lives for the better, the collection and redistribution process of usable clothing and goods reduces the amount of material entering the waste stream, which directly supports environmental stewardship. As the College works toward its Carbon Commitment, producing net zero carbon emissions by 2040, our participation in this process will lower the amount of trash the College produces, consequently reducing carbon emissions.
Participation is easy. Simply bag any donations and place the bags into the designated bin 24/7.
All cloth items
Clothing (All sizes, styles, ages, and genders)
Bedding and Draperies (No bed pillows)
Books (No encyclopedias, textbooks, or library books)
Everyday, ordinary people are making decisions to fortify their livelihood and personal values against the possible negative impacts of climate change – The family making an emergency kit with essential supplies for an upcoming extreme weather event; the teen lobbying for an idling truck policy to limit poor air quality days; the employee participating in an earthquake drill. What does climate resilience look like in everyday life? The Holy Cross Libraries and the Office of Sustainability invite you to submit a short non-fiction story to the 2021 Climate Resilient Everyday Short Story Contest. Let’s explore how everyday people are demonstrating climate resilience and let’s amplify those voices.
All College of the Holy Cross students, alumni, faculty, and staff as well as anyone holding a Holy Cross Libraries card are eligible to participate.
Need a library card? Library cards are generally issued at the discretion of the supervisor on-duty, primarily to Worcester area clergy, Nativity School teachers, other Worcester-area school teachers, members of the Worcester Institute for Senior Education, and members of the American Guild of Organists. The HC Libraries’ ability to issue new cards may be limited due to COVID restrictions. Learn more about library access.
Short stories must be non-fiction and somehow answer the question, what does climate resilience look like in everyday life? Personal stories or stories about others are accepted.
Participants must complete the digital submission form and may only submit one story. No paper entries will be accepted.
Stories must be original and previously unpublished, including online blogs. Stories used for course or work assignments may be submitted as long as they were not published elsewhere.
Please submit non-fiction stories with 1,500 words or less, in Times New Roman font size 12 and one-inch margins. Single, 1.5, or double spacing are all accepted. The title of the story should be in the header of each page, and stories must be written in English.
Notification of the Winner
The winner will be notified by Holy Cross’ director of sustainability by mid-March. All contestants will be notified shortly thereafter, via the email address provided during submission.
The winning story will get added to CrossWorks, Holy Cross’ open access institutional repository. In addition, the contest winner will receive $250 and an announcement on the Libraries’ Newsfeed.
The Climate Resilient Everyday Short Story Contest is financially supported by a grant from the Resilient Communities program within the American Library Association.
What’s the story behind your cup of coffee? Like most commodities produced in a globalized world, the answer to this question isn’t simple.
For many of us, coffee is a fundamental ingredient in our lives. It is responsible for our productivity, millions of jobs globally, billions of dollars in capital, and has kindled a complex global infrastructure to keep a steady stream of caffeine pouring into the world’s developed nations. While coffee-drinkers may trust the cute, green “fair-trade” labels on their coffee cups, the real story of coffee—and the people who are trying to change it for the better—is completely hidden from consumers. For years, the coffee industry has been in crisis mode as millions of farmers struggle to make subsistence income and climate change hampers production, while the developed world turns a blind-eye. The real story of coffee is about, “disempowerment, abuse, and rigged markets.”
Dean Cycon, the founder of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, is a person committed to fundamental change in the coffee industry. A self-proclaimed “seeker of knowledge, truth, and wisdom,” Dean is a pioneer in sustainable development who sees business as an opportunity to “seek a better understanding of the dynamics of everything from racism, to ecological justice, to interpersonal and intercultural dynamics.” After a career in indigenous rights and environmental law, Dean began the first international non-profit in coffee called Coffee Kids before creating Dean’s Beans in 1993. And since its inception, his company has been an experiment to determine whether a business that puts human values before corporate values can be successful—and it has.
Dean understands the coffee industry like no other. In his 30 year-long career, he has witnessed the evolution of coffee production from every angle and has developed a clear understanding of how the current system is failing its millions of farmers. Last year, Enveritas, a sustainability non-profit, determined that 71% of the world’s coffee farmers live in extreme poverty. Like us, the quality of life for a farmer is largely dependent on income, environmental conditions, and accessibility to basic social systems such as literacy and health programs. But two important factors are trapping coffee farmers in poverty: pricing and climate.
The income of a farmer is determined by what he is paid for a pound of coffee that he produces. Theoretically, when the coffee yields are lower, the price paid for coffee should increase because of scarcity in the market and vice-versa. This is called supply and demand, but it is not the way the coffee industry operates. The price of coffee, instead, is determined by the “C-price,” a speculative value determined by the London and New York boards of trade. In this model, private investment groups arbitrarily bet on the future price of coffee, which causes volatility in the income for a farmer. Farmers may produce the same bag of coffee every day, but still experience radical income fluctuations because of individuals sitting in a board room thousands of miles away.
The coffee crisis is also an environmental crisis. Scientists predict that up to 60% of coffee-producing land will be completely unusable by 2060. Predicted increases in climate may additionally account for the loss of 72% of tree biodiversity in coffee growing regions in the future. Most importantly, coffee is now becoming increasingly at-risk for fungal disease such as Coffee Rust, which drastically reduces yields and income for farmers. In fact, coffee growing regions will bear most of the burden of food and water insecurity into the future. And this doesn’t account for the self-imposed loss of biodiversity accounted for by monoculture and pesticide use.
The coffee industry is in crisis and millions of households are at risk. In a conversation with Dean Cycon, we discuss the deeply rooted problems in the industry and open the door to discussion about the hidden world of coffee.
Alfonsi, W. M. V., Koga-Vicente, A., Pinto, H. S., Alfonsi, E. L., Sr., Coltri, P. P., Zullo, J., Jr., Patricio, F. R., Avila, A. M. H. D., & Gonçalves, R. R. D. V. (2016). Climate change impacts on coffee rust disease. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, 51.
The Holy Cross Libraries have received a $500 stipend from Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), that will help the libraries engage our communities in programs and conversations on climate change.
Resilient Communities strives to raise awareness and provide accurate information about climate change to all. The pilot project has been funded by a generous grant from Andrew and Carol Phelps, the parents of a public librarian and a library master’s student.
“The College on the Hill is no stranger to severe winter storms, dangerous wind chill, or challenging heat waves. As climate change worsens, Worcester anticipates even greater weather fluctuations and an increase in extreme temperature events.” – Eileen Cravedi, Head of Access and Discovery Services
Resilient Communities programming will kick off this winter with a non-fiction short story contest and continue through Purple Goes Green Week in April 2021. Stay tuned on the Libraries’ social media accounts for upcoming events, and check out Decoding the Weather Machine in the interim.
“The College’s Libraries look forward to supporting our community in accessing resources and information that fosters carbon mitigation and climate resilience.” – Eileen Cravedi
About the American Library Association:
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit the ALA.
Nature is the pathway we use to learn, create, bond, and develop as individuals. It is that dense yet solid foundation that supports our home. Therefore, we are as healthy and diverse as the environment that encompasses us! Today’s world has adapted modern needs and habits that are highly endorsed by entities for pure lucrative comfort and satisfaction who rarely think about the implications that industrious activities will cause on the cycles and patterns nature follows. This point is further argued by Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu, who stated that, “people of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change.” People living in different geographical locations are all facing a major problem that threatens the core of their “natural neighborhood.” Nothing should make us become deterrent when forming concrete strategies in explicating the drastic reduction of climate change. It will take a consistent effort to see a positive outcome in our world, we just have to keep at it. The best way for us to fully understand the gravity of this dire situation? One must see the challenges others have faced and continue to endure so that a better future will be made. -Nichali Bogues, Kingston, Jamaica
The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country that is vulnerable to climate change effects, which makes it difficult for me to travel to and visit my relatives. When I lived in the Philippines, I developed asthma as a child due to the heavy carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2020, the Philippines has one of the highest Climate Risk Index (CRI) in the world; this index refers to the level of vulnerability to weather-related events. Annually, the Philippines encounters an average of 20 typhoons in addition to other natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods that can all be exacerbated by climate change. Since most of my relatives and friends are still living in the Philippines, I am most worried about their overall health because climate change worsens air quality, which makes the population susceptible to developing cardiovascular diseases.
-Airam Viennelu Aliwalas, University of North Florida, FL, USA
Corvallis, Oregon, USA
As a native and lifelong Oregonian, I have seen the implications climate change has had on the Pacific wonderland. Since the first half of the 20th century, the Pacific Northwest has already seen a warming of a conservative 1.5 °F estimate; climate models project this number to rise 5-8.5 °F by the end of the century.
In many ways, climate change is regarded as the “threat multiplier” – and multiplied it has. This is because climate does not solely affect isolated issues, but compounds cascading elements; it becomes a determinant. Community health, economy, agriculture, various industries – nothing is left untouched, even if seemingly unrelated.
Through the lens of a future physician, climate change is an alarming disruptor in healthcare. I have witnessed this first hand as a caregiver during the wildfire season in Oregon, where high temperature and smoke aggravates and worsens health conditions, overwhelming the hospital system. On September 5th of 2017, the emergency department and urgent care observed 20% more visits statewide than expected due to respiratory issues following a wildfire.
Because I care about the health of Oregon’s people, I must also care about the health of Oregon’s environment.
–McKenzie Hughes, Corvallis, OR, USA
Climate change has recently begun having a larger impact on society as a whole. According to the Climate Reality Project, one of the results has been increased rainfall. As the world warms, the rate of the evaporation of the ocean increases, which contributes to more extreme precipitation. Likewise, as the atmosphere gets warmer, it can hold more moisture which is a factor in increased downpour intensity. This can have quite detrimental effects.
A few years ago, my family took a vacation to India to visit our relatives. Having not seen them for a couple of years, we were really enjoying our time. Vacation is an escape from reality. But that didn’t last long because one day, my mom checked the news back at home and our great vacation took a turn in the opposite direction.
It had been announced that there was very heavy rain for a couple of days and basements were flooding. We asked our friend to check on our basement, and just as we had feared, our basement was submerged under 2 feet of water.
When we got home, everything was destroyed – carpet, books, electronics. It was a costly and tiresome experience that is all too common nowadays. I fear that from here, unless we make more of an effort to slow climate change, only more and more unfortunate things like this will happen to more people.
-Joshua Mathews, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Houston, Texas, USA
I love Houston, Texas; it is my home. As a city near the Gulf of Mexico, Houston faces unique challenges due to climate change. You might have heard of Hurricane Harvey and the destruction it caused in Houston in 2017. As temperatures and sea levels rise, coastal cities face the risk of becoming a breeding ground for increasingly devastating hurricanes. According to c40.org, a network of cities dedicated to addressing climate change, Houston emits 14.9 tons of carbon dioxide per year per capita, a number that ranks among the highest carbon dioxide emissions in America.
The silver lining is that the city government recognizes the need for change and has created an ambitious climate action plan that aligns with the Paris Climate Agreement: to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent the Earth’s temperature from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius and to become carbon neutral by 2050. According to the City of Houston, 45% of the city’s greenhouse gases come from transportation, so finding ways, such as walking short distances or taking the Metro instead of our cars, would be helpful in decreasing emissions.
I hope that by working together as communities and a city, we can reduce greenhouse emissions, prevent excessively destructive hurricanes from forming and protect our city for generations to come.
The photo I have shared shows rain falling and creating puddles in my backyard. I am thankful for the rain that comes with living in a coastal city, but with temperatures and sea levels on the rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, gentle showers can take a more destructive form, which is why it is so important for us to act on climate change now.
–Pragya Mishra, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
In my home town of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, mortality due to water-borne diseases, heat waves, and respiratory diseases, caused by air pollution, is on the rise. In a country where there are little resources for mitigation, these effects of climate change are extremely alarming. When I visited Ethiopia in the summer of 2019, I was shocked to see how dark and grey the sky was. The streets were filled with large and old vehicles that contributed greatly to the emissions causing the dark grey skies. There was not a day where I saw a clear sky in the city. When I was living there, I did not realize how horrible the smog was, as that was considered the norm. However, now having lived 7 years in the suburbs of Texas, I had something to compare Addis Ababa to, which opened my eyes to the dangerous path my country is heading down on. It makes it more heartbreaking knowing that access to healthcare is considered a privilege in Ethiopia, contributing to even more lives lost as a result of climate change.
-Hermella Merso, University of Texas at Dallas, Texas, USA
Each individual and major enterprise has a responsibility to be more efficient in the ways they use products that are not beneficial to the environment. It is evident that over time we will face more floods, air pollution, droughts, extreme heating, and other horrible consequences if we do not step up and do what is right. Some of the ways to make our environment less intensely concentrated are: invest in energy-efficient appliances, reduce water waste, and manage our carbon profile in a better manner. Also, another key role to play is to become an advocate for climate change, simply speak up. Now is the time that we must come together as a united force with one prime objective; making the world a better place to live. The by-product of this goal is making it safer to raise our families and giving the next generation a better place to grow and interact with. As stated by David Suzuki, “ in a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any buckets.”
Each Thursday in July, 60 plus students from across the United States, Canada, and England explored the connection between healthcare, sustainability, and equity in a web series called Healthcare Goes Green. Students learned from practitioners and scholars who have successfully integrated sustainability into their own work. The series first reviewed contextual knowledge about how climate change impacts health, especially within vulnerable communities. Then, the group examined different change frameworks, particularly incremental change and transformational change. The third session analyzed how energy conservation and green infrastructure at Mass General Brigham, a Massachusetts based hospital network, contributes to environmentally-friendly healthcare. The series concluded by discussing the social barriers to sustainable equitable health, using the Southern Africa region as a focal point.
Watch all four of the recorded presentations.
Climate Science: Its Impact on Health & Vulnerable Populations with Paul Dellaripa MD (1985 Holy Cross alum), Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Changing Mindsets: Incremental Change to Transformational Change with Sarah Fackler, Mass General Brigham
A Green Environment: Creating Green Infrastructure Through Energy Conservation with John Messervy, Mass General Brigham
Breaking Barriers: A Global Look at Sustainable, Equitable Health with Tsitsi Masvawure DPhil, College of the Holy Cross