HomeAct LocallyInternships with the AllianceSummer InternshipsHow can we remove primary barriers to sustainability?

How can we remove primary barriers to sustainability?

[possible summer project]

What are the biggest barriers to sustainability?

It will take more than dealing with fossil fuels and GHG reduction.

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. And capitalism, at least as currently practiced here in the United States, is intertwined with them all. (All of these issues are closely connected to the ‘evil triplets’ spelled out by MLK: racism, materialism, & militarism.)

  • 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?

As 15-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden said at COP-24, ‘We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.’

We are looking for a student who is prepared to explore these areas in depth and begin the long process of working towards solutions. The goal is to begin to develop practical steps to eliminate these barriers.

  • 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 & government in perpetuating problems — and their potential for creating change
  • Work with community members, educators, and local organizations to explore possibilities
  • Take action to raise awareness and understanding including presentations, fact sheets, and/or posters; speak to groups on various aspects of sustainability and community resilience

Your specific academic major is not as important as your interest and ability to undertake a variety of tasks, and work effectively. Previous interns have come from a wide range of academic disciplines, including Communication, English, Professional Writing, Sociology, Economics, and Studio Art.

If this is a topic you would like to explore, email Internship Coordinator Peter Crownfield.