WHY I PROTESTED AT MY GRADUATION CEREMONY
November 01, 2019 by Extinction Rebellion
This October I graduated from Anglia Ruskin University with an MSc in Sustainability, achieving Distinction; but instead of feeling overjoyed, I felt numb.
I had hoped that 18 months of study would guide me toward climate solutions and a lucrative career, but instead it left me grieving in a world that no longer makes sense to me. I fear for the future my children face, and am overcome by a magnified sense of duty to do all that I can to highlight the crisis.
My graduation ceremony provided a perfect platform to demonstrate the sobering irony of the weight we give to higher education juxtaposed with willful ignorance toward climate academics who have spent decades studying their field.
A talented hat designer helped to create a mortar board with the Extinction Symbol on it, and a cloak from second-hand bits. Standing out in alarming bright pink against a sea of navy caps generated a few odd looks but I had prepared a placard that read: ‘Stand with me. Acknowledge our privilege and use our education to right the wrongs in this world and act on hard truths with courage and compassion’.
This small gesture won’t make much of a difference on its own, but I hope it might inspire others to use all platforms to share this knowledge and help steer humanity toward a different path. It has also defined a need for me to help deliver climate and ecological education for all, through the not-for-profit I founded, Climate Emergency Action.
To support this new program text EDUCATE to 70970 to donate £5.