Earth Day Network Launches MobilizeU Student Campaign for Earth Day 2012

April 5, 2012

By Carra Beth Cheslin, MobilizeU Campaign Coordinator, Earth Day Network

(This article appears in the April, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

This year, Earth Day Network (EDN) is launching an international student movement called MobilizeU, encouraging university students across the globe to organize four weeks of environmental activism leading up to Earth Day 2012 (March 29 – April 29). MobilizeU is both a dynamic network for student organizers to share ideas and learn from each other’s campus environmental initiatives, as well as a month-long competition where students quantify their projects as “acts of green”—actions that either reduce individuals’ carbon footprints or raise awareness about environmental issues. Every act of green generated by students during the MobilizeU Month will contribute to EDN’s A Billion Acts of Green® initiative, thus providing students a platform to promote their activism on the international level.

ACUPCC Signatory University of Massachusetts Lowell is kicking off the start of the MobilizeU Month by running a dinner and discussion event called “UML Goes Green.”

in which they will get students’ input on the university’s plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. This event can be quantified as acts of green toward the MobilizeU Competition for UML by calculating the number of hours per person spent planning and implementing the event as well as any deliverables (in this case the number of people in attendance at the event will also count as acts of green).

So far, MobilizeU has over 185 participating schools covering 6 continents, 32 countries, and 35 US states – and this network of universities is extremely diverse. About half of the MobilizeU universities are from the United States and half are international. In the US, we have engaged schools in most every region of the country and of most every type, including ivy league schools, state schools, community colleges, and vocational institutions. Internationally, we have a very high participation in Africa with universities in 13 different countries as well as a large number of universities in Pakistan and India.

Students are participating in MobilizeU as both Regional and School Coordinators, taking on leadership in their communities. Regional Coordinators help recruit and inspire new universities to join the international MobilizeU Network as well as provide support and information to School Coordinators within their chosen region during the competition. School Coordinators are responsible for educating and activating students, faculty, and staff on their campuses by organizing environmental events and taking on sustainability initiatives. Becoming a MobilizeU Regional or School Coordinator provides students with the opportunities to represent their university’s sustainability efforts on the international level and connect with other youth activists who share a similar passion for environmental action.

The MobilizeU Team at Earth Day Network has created several resources for participating universities and student coordinators which can be accessed on theirwebsite. Most notably is the Generating Acts of Green document, which lists a wide variety of ideas to get students thinking about events and initiatives to take on during the MobilizeU Month, and discusses how to calculate acts of green from these activities. In addition, the MobilizeU Team has created informational resources to use both during the MobilizeU Month and beyond, including Fundraising 101 and Campus and Local Media.

The goal of MobilizeU is to amplify campus environmental efforts on an international level by using Earth Day as a platform to mobilize communities and create a network of passionate young activists. The MobilizeU Team at Earth Day Network has been working hard with their Regional and School Coordinators in the weeks leading up to the competition to make sure that they can make the largest possible impact during the MobilizeU Month and beyond.

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