How can we remove the many persistent barriers to sustainability‽
We like to think of our society as fair & just, providing equal opportunity for all. And we tend to think we will achieve sustainability simply by addressing global warming or through better regulations. In reality, though, there is ample evidence of embedded racism, patriarchy, & colonialism — even right here in the Lehigh Valley. (All three of these issues are closely connected to the ‘evil triplets’ spelled out by MLK: poverty, racism, & militarism.) And capitalism, as practiced here in the United States, is intertwined with them all.
Unfortunately, our education system tends to reinforce many of these problems instead of helping to correct them.
- How can we better understand the pervasive influence of these factors?
- What can we do to raise awareness of these problems and their systemic nature?
- How can we reduce these influences and move towards a just and equitable society?
This internship is a project to explore at how these topics are interconnected, how they manifest here in the Lehigh Valley, and what can be done to reduce their impacts. It will involve some or all of the following activities:
- Research to gain understanding of existing problems, including their presence here in the Lehigh Valley (both historic & current)
- Analyze how addressing these problems will improve current and long-term sustainability of communities
- Explore the role of institutions in perpetuating problems — and for creating change
- Work with community members, educators, and local organizations
- Take action to raise awareness and understanding including presentations, fact sheets, and/or posters
- Write articles or speak to groups on various aspects of sustainability and community resilience
Note: It is also possible to explore aspects of this topic through our Act For Justice, Climate Action, Communication, Community & Restorative Justice Systems, Healthy Food for Healthy Communities, and Sustainability in Business internships.
Qualifications: We are looking for a student who has a strong interest in sustainable communities — and can take significant responsibility in a project that cannot necessarily be defined in advance. Your academic major is not as important as your interest and ability to undertake a variety of tasks and work effectively.
If this is a topic you would like to explore, email Internship Coordinator Peter Crownfield.
Updated July 2019