Episode 3 – No More Fossil Fools: Divestment, Activism, and Free Education
On October 27, 2021, the University of Toronto announced that it would be divesting its $4 billion endowment fund from fossil fuels. While this announcement was momentous, it failed to adequately recognize the decade of student activism that had made the divestment decision a reality. Today, we are bringing you a conversation with two of those student activists. Leila Tjiang and James Slaven are organizers with Leap U of T, a grassroots group working for fossil fuel divestment and the global liberation of life and land. They join us to speak about building student-led divestment movements, working against the corporatization of universities, and bringing education back to the community.
James Slaven (he/him) is a blind activist who has been involved with various other justice groups, though this is the first time he’s been involved with a divestment-focused group. He will soon be graduating from U of T with a graduate degree in environmental history.
Leila Tjiang (she/her) is an organizer with Leap. In the past, she has served in the role of Victoria College’s sustainability commissioner and co-chair, among several other student government positions. She recently graduated from U of T with a double major in environmental geography and biology.
Hosted and edited by Emiko Newman and Megan Pham-Quan.
With gratitude to Hilary Inwood of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Stephen Hurley of VoiceEd Radio for their indispensable support and encouragement.