In 2015, Divest Carleton started a Fossil Free Fund, collecting donations from alumni that would be given to Carleton College if and when it decided to divest its endowment from fossil fuels. Each June, if the college had failed to divest, a portion of the Fund was distributed to the environmental nonprofits 350.org and MN350. Over the course of the Fund, a total of $11,752.50 was given by 100 individual donors, many of them giving multiple times.
The host site for the Fund, the Responsible Endowments Coalition, closed its doors in the spring of 2020. All remaining donations were distributed to 350.org and MN350. Divest Carleton would like to offer some alternative options for alumni who wish to withhold or decrease their giving to the college due to various factors. For instance, some alumni have decided to withhold funds until Carleton develops a plan to address racial justice on campus. We’ve included environmental and racial justice organizations in our list below.
Options for Giving
Divest Ed: National organization training and leading student divestment movements. Has helped Divest Carleton with resources and advice.
MN350: Minnesota chapter of 350.org, which founded the college fossil fuel divestment movement. MN350 works toward a clean-energy future and incorporates social justice into its framework.
Clean River Partners: Partners with local farmers and volunteers to keep the Cannon River, which flows through Northfield, clean and healthy.
NOTE: The following organizations focus on racial justice, singularly or in addition to climate justice. Minority communities are more likely to be affected by both pollution and the consequences of climate change. The same mindset that leads to the degradation of the Earth also leads to inequality, as less privileged communities are sacrificed to an unceasing desire for financial wealth among a privileged few. When basic human needs are not met due to racism and other inequalities, organizing also becomes more difficult. This is especially true of organizing in spaces that are not welcoming to minority members. For all of these reasons and many more, we assert that climate justice must mean racial justice.
Carleton student BIPOC organizations:
Black Student Alliance BSA 4-U Fund (Venmo: @bsa-2020 or PayPal: PayPal.me/bsa2020)
African Caribbean Association (Venmo: @ACA-2020)
Men of Color (Venmo: @MOC-2020)
NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Network: Works with local communities to close toxic facilities, pass environmental legislation, and ensure that communities of color are included in the transition to a sustainable economy. (Support by giving to NAACP.)
Indigenous Environmental Network: Organized and led by Indigenous people, working to protect the integrity of the Earth. Indigenous people have been integral to environmental movements, as is demonstrated by their recent stands (and wins) against new fossil fuel pipelines.
GreenLatinos: Coalition of Latino leaders addressing local, regional, and national environmental issues that affect Latino communities.