University of Vermont

RSENR Diversity Task Force Update

Van JonesThe Diversity Task Force organized and hosted a number of events in Fall 2012.

On September 22, students from the Rubenstein School and the UVM Honors College, as well as a number of our USDA Scholars attended the 50th Anniversary for the Vermont Natural Resources Council featuring keynote speaker, Van Jones, named by Time magazine as a Global Environmental Hero in 2008 and one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009.

To read about this event go to:

To learn more about Van Jones:


Majora CarterThen on November 12, RSENR faculty, staff, and students boarded a bus then a ferry to attend a talk at SUNY Plattsburgh by Majora Carter titled "HomeTOWN Security".  Majora is an award winning sustainability thinker and advocate for environmental justice issues.  You can learn more about her and see her speak at:

On November 7, we hosted our annual Movie Night with special screening of "One Day on Earth," an amazing film shot by the global citizenry on 10-10-10 in every country on the planet showing the diversity of the human experience. Our own Interim Dean Jon Erickson helped to organize a Burlington screening of this crowd-sourced film on April 22 as part of a global premiere.

AND on November 9, in collaboration with Shelburne Farms we hosted Friday Breakfast at the ALANA Student Center. Faculty, staff, and students played chef that morning and Shelburne Farms staff joined us for the fun. A BIG THANKS to Shelburne Farms for bringing the cheese, ham, bacon, and bread!

Special kudos to graduate students Eliese Dykstra and Christine Peterson for organizing a RSENR field trip to the ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center to view the RACE: Are We So Different? Exhibit. This event was organized as part of a service-learning project for the NR 306 Envisioning a Sustainable Future course.  Afterwards on October 23, Eliese, Christine, and Laura Keir, also an RSENR grad student, convened a community conversation on Race, Privilege, and the Environment. About 20 people attended, including the Interim Dean of the Rubenstein School Jon Erickson, Associate Dean Allan Strong, several additional faculty members, a group of staff members, and a number of graduate students. We hope to plan more student-initiated events in the Spring 2013 semester.

                           Race Exhibit photos by Christine Peterson

The Diversity Task Force is a volunteer group of faculty, staff, and students committed to issues of diversity.  The DTF generates and contributes to the development of ideas for diversity initiatives in curricular and other programming in the Rubenstein School.