WUmester Sustainability Challenges

Sustainability: This is the information for the virtual lecture and panel discussion. It also counts as a challenge for the month of February.

Every year in the second semester, an event called WUmester happens. WUmester is an initiative where professors at Washburn University come together to shine light on an important topic that they want the Washburn Community to focus on. This year’s topic is sustainability.

Sustainability can occur in many different facets; cultural sustainability, social sustainability, economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and the list goes on.

Dr. Kelly Erby, Assistant Dean, CAS/Associate Professor of History, is the leader of WUmester and she explains how students and others in the Washburn community can take part in WUmester this year.

“We realize that people are kind of zoomed out,” explains Erby. “One thing new that we are trying this semester are what we’re calling monthly sustainability challenges”.

Every month, there is a different list of sustainable challenges that individuals or groups can take part in. If you complete all of the tasks on the list, you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win prizes and gift cards from local and sustainable businesses every month.

Kara Kendall-Morwick, Associate Professor of English, explains that sustainability is a topic that affects us all.

“So for example, we know that in marginalized and low income communities there are more likely industrial facilities waste, and other sources of environmental degradation,” explains Morwick. She expresses the importance of thinking of ways that we can build a more equitable and inclusive world.

The challenges for February range from writing a postcard to a politician explaining that you are a voter who cares about sustainability, to a small change such as using a reusable bag when shopping or purchasing a refillable mug or cup when ordering drinks to go.

One challenge for the month of February is attending an online lecture and panel discussion from guest speaker Harriet A. Washington. She will be discussing her book “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and its Assault on the American Mind”. This discussion will take place on Thursday, February 18 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.The link will be attached at the end of the article.

“I hope that they, people in the Washburn Community, will come unprepared, or they will come away with ideas about how they can take action in their community and their local community,” explains Erby.

This link has more information about how to participate and lists of every month’s challenges: https://www.washburn.edu/academics/WUmester/WU-mester-events.html
Link to the Virtual lecture and discussion: https://www.youtube.com/washburnvideo

Edited by: Matthew L. Self