Archive for the ‘Sierra Club’ Category

The New Majority; Pedaling Towards Equity

June 6, 2013 Comments off

The New Majority; Pedaling Towards Equity

Source: Sierra Club/League of American Bicyclists

From blog post:

Last week, in partnership with the Sierra Club, the League released “The New Majority: Pedaling Toward Equity.” A conversation-starter, rather than a comprehensive analysis, the mini-report highlighted the tremendous growth in bicycling among youth, women and people of color — and showcased the stories of just a small handful of grassroots organizations that are mobilizing diverse communities and elevating new leaders.

But, while the report provided evidence that we’ve begun pedaling toward equity… we’re not nearly there yet.

“For too long,” we emphasize, “many diverse populations have been overlooked by traditional organizations and transportation planners. In too many instances, people of color have been largely left out of transportation decision-making processes that have dramatically impacted their neighborhoods. Rising up in response to this disenfranchisement, new leaders are rallying against stark disparities in bicycling facilities — and safe streets. These organizations aren’t just engaging new communities in traditional campaigns, but opening new avenues of conversation — shifting the focus from bicycling itself to how bikes address the core everyday issues faced in their unique communities.”

America’s Coolest Schools: Sierra’s fifth annual ranking of the greenest colleges in the United States

August 31, 2011 Comments off

America’s Coolest Schools: Sierra’s fifth annual ranking of the greenest colleges in the United States
Source: Sierra Club

It’s well and fine to learn from a lecture. But rarely is a lecture life-changing.

Good professors know that discussing nature in the confines of a classroom is not likely to stir the soul—no matter how enlightening the lesson. Even the most impassioned teachers catch students nodding off. What awakens, they realize, is experience—getting hands dirty, immersion.

Each year since 2007, we at Sierra have sat in our offices for weeks doing the detailed, quantitative work to rank U.S. universities on their greenness. This year, we also wanted to find out what lessons are learned when the classroom walls fall away.

What happens when students sleep on damp earth, grow their own food, or build homes for the poor? Here’s our hypothesis: They change, on the inside and on the outside.

To derive the numbers, we asked the Sierra Club’s conservation experts to help us rejigger our 12-page questionnaire to reflect the Club’s most pressing priorities. We e-mailed surveys to 940 schools and carefully sifted through the 118 responses we received. We corresponded with many of the colleges’ devoted sustainability officers, and we lamented that those at several campuses—including some in last year’s top 20—declined to fill out our survey.

Meanwhile, we dispatched writers to Bali, Utah, and the Adirondacks to report on schools where teachers work to make sure that the graduates they send out into the real world actually know what that place looks like.

As educators continue to deepen their devotion to sustainability and to immersive learning, we’ll keep telling their stories. And we’ll keep honing our methods for doing so. Because, as Emerson also wrote, “the more experiments you make the better.”

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