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Why do we want to Reclaim Earth Day?

The original Earth Day did a lot of good for the environmental movement. It also did a whole lot of bad: it was remarkably exclusive, neglected a justice focus, and did little to challenge the power structures which got us into this mess in the first place. Obviously, we shouldn’t approach tackling the climate crisis like this. We want to build a different, stronger movement which unites social justice struggles across campus, Providence, and the world to drive real, meaningful change.  So, much of the power in our collective action this coming Earth Day comes from our reclamation of the day itself.

What is RED Week?

It's going to take a lot more than one day of work to properly reclaim Earth Day, so we've planned a full week of teach-ins, fundraisers, and activities that were developed with the following goals in mind:

1. Produce a NARRATIVE SHIFT in the way Brown students think about environmentalism and environmental justice and understand the shared roots of different social justice struggles. 

2. BUILD COMMUNITY between Brown student groups who are fundamentally challenging the same structural power imbalances at the university level. 

3. Use the well-known platform of “Earth Day” to ENGAGE NEW STUDENTS who may not otherwise be engaged in on-campus activism or in challenging structural power imbalances.

4. Introduce the RESPECT REPORT. The Respect Report examines why and how Brown must begin to address issues of local environmental injustice. It serves as an archival collection, a starting point for future advocacy work, and a framework through which to view the institution’s role in the city it occupies. The Respect Report will launch at the conclusion of RED Week (April 26th).

RED Week Schedule

Monday - 4/22

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Wood Tree Painting + Chalking + Lino Printing

1-5 PM | Main Green

Make art in nature and nature out of art. Join Sunrise for tree painting, linocut printing, and chalking. Bring your old clothes and bags to print on, or use some of our provided scraps of fabric!

Environmental Racism Teach-In

7 PM | Salomon 001

Join the Black Student Union, Latinx Student Union, and Asian/American Political Alliance for an Environmental Racism Teach-In. We will start with a presentation on environmental justice and specific instances of environmental racism as they relate to individual communities of color. This will be followed by an interactive discussion and a Kahoot!


Tuesday - 4/23

Climate, Emotion, Resilience, and Resistance: A Fishbowl Discussion

4:30 PM | Lincoln Field

Join the Office of Sustainability and Resiliency for a discussion with Kate Schapira, Macarena Gomez-Barris, Lotus Rodriguez, and Jesus Hernandez. We will discuss the role of emotions in living with and responding to the climate crisis: how to weather them, learn from them, and rest with them in order to fight for and care for one another. Refreshments will be provided!

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Line Dancing for Environmental Justice

6 PM | The Underground

Channel your inner cowboy and get your boots stompin’ for environmental activism! Come learn to line dance, and should the groove move you, make a suggested donation that supports the People's Port Authority, an environmental justice community organization led by residents of South Providence and Washington Park that educates, mobilizes, and supports community members that are directly impacted by environmental racism.

Wednesday - 4/24

Young Democratic Socialists of America Teach-In

4 PM | Friedman 102

What is eco-socialism? How can socialism be used as a solution for environmental crises? These questions and more will be answered at the Young Democratic Socialists of America Reclaim Earth Day Teach-In. We’ll provide a history of eco-socialism as well as contemporary examples.

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Public Health and Environmental Justice

6 PM | The Underground

Learn about the intersections between public health and environmental justice through a panel featuring KDSAP, Diabetes Link, Brown Journal of Healthcare Advancement, Bioethics Society. Also in attendance will be Dr. Erica Walker, creator of the Community Noise Lab. Join us in the Underground at 6 PM on April 24th.

A Guide to Environmental Legislative Advocacy in Rhode Island

7 PM | Salomon 202

Come eat cheesecake and learn how you can get involved with community organizers advocating for important environmental legislation in Rhode Island! This teach-in from Brown Initiative for Policy and Sunrise will discuss how to identify community partners, research environmental legislation, and connect with state representatives in order to successfully support important bills on climate action and environmental justice!


Nature Writing Workshop

8 PM | Urban Environmental Lab

Join The Round, Sole Magazine, and Sunrise for an informal and collaborative workshop where we will explore prompts that integrate mindfulness and decolonial thought into nature writing. We are looking to create a space that opens doors for students, from all and no writing backgrounds, to create, reflect and engage with the experience of living in a changing natural world — particularly emphasizing ideas of liberation and what it means to be in community with our environments. In addition to writing time, there will be discussion and somatic exercises.

Thursday - 4/25

Urban Lunch Talk

12 PM | Petteruti Lounge

Join ReclaimRI, the Urban Studies DUG, HOPE, and Sunrise Brown in discussing the intersections between Community-Based Urbanism, Housing Justice, and Environmental Justice—all while enjoying a delicious lunch catered from East Side Pockets! 


Through a short presentation and roundtable discussion, we’ll answer questions like: Why is fighting for housing justice and a tenant bill of rights essential to achieving environmental justice? How can community-based urbanism lay the groundwork for more just conditions in where we “live, work, and play”? How are local organizations fighting for housing justice and environmental justice in Providence and Rhode Island?


Writing Testimony for Environmental Bills

6 PM | Petteruti Lounge

Do you like to eat pie and support environmental legislation? Come to Brown Dems and Sunrise’s testimony-writing session! On Thursday, April 25th at 6 PM in the Petteruti Lounge, we will be writing testimony for a VERY important bill in the Rhode Island Legislature that would establish the first Green Justice Zone, a model that may be replicated in future years to ensure that all communities throughout the state have clean air and clean water. Come make friends and make a difference!

Brown Market Shares Collab + North House Dinner

6:30 PM | North House

It’s a RED themed market share! Brown Market Shares will be providing some very REDcipes to go along with a slew of delicious red fruits and vegetables. Don’t know what to cook with your Market Shares? Go to North House at 6:30 PM on Thursday, April 25th for a delicious, home-cooked, RED-themed dinner!


Justice Jeopardy

7:30 PM | Metcalf Auditorium

Join Jeopardy winner Justin Bolsen and the Activist Coalition for a rousing game of Environmental Justice-themed Jeopardy! Test your knowledge of environmental justice with the Ivy League’s best Jeopardy player on Thursday April 25th at 8 PM Metcalf Auditorium. 

Friday - 4/26

Tea and Talk: Decolonization, Military Industrial Complex, Wealth Redistribution, and Environmentalism

3 PM | Petteruti Lounge

Join Students for Justice in Palestine, Decolonization at Brown, Food Not Bombs, Resource Generation, and Sunrise for hot drinks and a discussion about the connection between environmentalism, decolonization, and the military industrial complex.


Music for Justice Concert

7 PM | The Underground

Join us for an evening of climate and social movement-related music! We've got a stellar line-up, including Em's Femmes, Mariachi, Leo Major, and Stowaways. You do NOT want to miss this!

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