ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

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Van Jones, Van Jones, Van Jones!

Today was Earth Day, and it was also the kickoff of my department's 35th anniversary celebration, which will continue all year with various events, but started today with something that will, to my mind, be hard to beat: Van Jones.

Van Jones is a visionary social activist, leading the way in finding a path toward both social justice and environmental responsibility. Is there any wonder that I've been a fan since I first heard of him a couple of years ago? No. And he's a big name in the field, so it's quite a coup for UEP to have gotten him to come visit us.

He gave a talk just for UEPers this afternoon, followed by one open to the community as a whole (sorry, y'all, I should have posted about this beforehand so you could come hear him speak, too). Both talks were heartfelt, inspiring and thoughtful. I left feeling reinvigorated with hope, for people and the world.

Sticking with me right now:
* "Your wildest dreams are too small."
* "Instead of asking what issues we're working on, let's ask what solutions we're working toward."
* "Don't support the status quo; be a change agent."
* And, broadly, a real attention to people as individuals, with experiences and contributions that can't be replaced.
Tags: activism, optimism, uep

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