Divest Concordia’s last events of the Fall

The past two weeks have been busy for Divest Concordia – Let’s hear what happened!

There was an art build on Tuesday November 21st

At 11am, a small group sat on the floor of the H mezzanine and started making objects with the Divest Concordia colors. An art build is this spontaneous initiative to take up public space in order to be visible and surprise the public. Emily Carson Apstein, the external coordinator at Sustainable Concordia and active member of Divest Concordia, said they “painted some patches and holiday ornaments, using materials from the Resource Library and CUCCR.” During these creative two hours, they  “talked to students who were going by, played some music and hung out!” Emily explained.

… And a Divest 101 workshop on Wednesday, November 29th

The workshop was held in the Art Nook, on the 7th floor of the H building. During about an hour, folks got to learn about what divestment is, its history at Concordia and in the world, and how to make a change in our context. The presentation contained stunning statistics, videos, and an activity. Maya Provencal, coordinator at the Dish Project and avid supporter of the divestment movement, attended both events and said in retrospect: “I did not know very much about the relationship between the university and Divest Concordia and I thought that was very interesting.”

The events were successful on different levels

Both events brought together people from different horizons and sparked fruitful conversations. Emily thought the 101 workshop was a success as they “had students from around the world there, and talked about the global implications of divestment.” She added “there was an exchange student from Germany who told us his entire town divested!”

Regarding the art build, Maya, for whom it was the first time participating in this type of event, “thought it was really fun!” She “thought it was a really cool and unique way to get a message across, to push the campaign”.  On the other hand, Emily saw it engaging as they “had interesting conversations with people who wouldn’t normally talk about divestment” and added that this was the whole point because “those kind of events are about creating public awareness.”

Will we see them happen again next semester?

The events had a fairly small amount of interactions, which were however meaningful and highly engaging. Emily explained that “because people are busy, especially this time of the year, it’s hard to get a large turnout for an event, but if we have many smaller events then we can reach the same number of people and have more discussions.” The plan is therefore to have art builds and workshops monthly in the Winter semester. Maya (a participant) expressed, in agreement with this decision, her desire to see more events like these happening in order to keep on raising awareness and be more present in the Concordia landscape.

The events allowed her to get a better understanding of the movement and motivated her to be a part of it. In conclusion to our conversation she said: “I am definitely planning to attend all the events I can because they are informational and inspiring, and good. I think I am going to be more involved, I would love to facilitate the workshop eventually.”

What else will Divest do in the Winter?

Divest Concordia is preparing a whole lot of exciting projects! Generally Divest is “looking forward to increasing student engagement around campus.” Emily also revealed some news: “We’re hoping to make more connections with faculty as well next semester. I’ve talked to some specific professors that are interested in divestment.”

Let’s not spoil it all, we’ll tell you more on upcoming projects next time! Don’t hesitate to reach out to the external coordinator to get involved and to visit this page for information on the campaign.

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