The Ann Arbor chapter of SftP has recently focused on the issues of climate change, reproductive justice, and solidarity strategy.
Actions around climate change have primarily been in collaboration with the Climate Action Movement (CAM) at the University of Michigan to put pressure on the U-M President and administration to develop a plan for carbon neutrality that is aggressive and incorporates the principles of environmental justice. SftP members were instrumental in aggregating data to assess University progress toward climate goals and, with CAM, developed a set of emissions reductions targets in accordance with the the latest IPCC recommendations for limiting warming to 1.5C. SftP and CAM members drafted resolutions based on the recommendations, which were then passed unanimously through student and faculty governments. Current work is focused on garnering a commitment in adherence to these recommendations from the President and Regents of the university, with tactics including official testimony, op-eds in university publications, and organizing direct actions.
We have also been working to introduce those engaged in climate action to a larger critique of the social structures at the root of the climate crisis. Along these lines, we have partnered with the local Marxist Collective to host Jason Moore for several speaking engagements at the University this Spring. Jason Moore is an environmental historian who is known for his books and essays on environmental history, capitalism, and social theory. Furthermore, a subgroup of SftP members are actively advocating to incorporate a course in the core curriculum in the School for Environment and Sustainability at U-M that more adequately incorporates environmental justice, critical analysis and environmental ethics.
SftP members have conducted a number of direct actions in solidarity with larger campaigns. These have included: 1) targeting events hosted by banks responsible for financing environmentally destructive pipelines with blatant disregard of indigenous land and rights; 2) advocating for effective and unbiased local police oversight; 3) debunking pseudo-scientific claims made by an anti-immigrant speaker.
Ann Arbor SftP periodically facilitates Science for Who events with an open discussion between panelists and community members about a specific area of science and its interplay with society-at-large. Our upcoming topic will revolve around reproductive justice, with invited panelists having expertise in the history of eugenics and genetic counseling, women’s studies, and reproductive ethnography. Science for Who has provided an informal setting (over food) to engage with and learn about the deeper implications of a variety of fields and served as the first point of contact with SftP for many members.