Students for a Better World: The Beyond the Classroom Blog

Stories, Resources, & More from the Beyond the Classroom (BTC) Program at University of Maryland

April 21-26 is BTC’s “Week of Student Leadership and Civic Action for a Better World”

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In 2013, BTC students participated in the Forward On Climate Rally in Washington, D.C.

In 2013, BTC students participated in the Forward On Climate Rally in Washington, D.C.

Join Beyond the Classroom Living & Learning Program for:

“The Week of Student Leadership and Civic Action for a Better World”!

From April 21 to 26, 2014, BTC is proud to sponsor a series of student-led events and documentary screenings on:

  • Climate change
  • Sexual assault prevention
  • Environmental contamination
  • Healthy food choices
  • Human rights
  • And other social justice issues…!

Events will be held at the University of Maryland, College Park; all events are free and open to the University of Maryland community.  Here’s the full line up (click on the event names for each event’s Facebook page to learn more!):

Monday, April 21:

  • “Earth Day” Student Panel Discussion: “The Student Movement to Solve the Global Climate Crisis” (South Campus Commons Building 1, Room 1102; 7-9PM)
    • To celebrate Earth Day, please join us for a panel discussion involving climate change and student activists to understand the dynamics shaping the growing global movement to solve one of the most daunting challenges of our time – global climate change! The panel will focus on the largest youth-led environmental protests in the United States in the 21st century that led to the arrest of 398 students and youths in March 2014 who were protesting the proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Project that would ship carbon-intensive oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Workshop, co-sponsored by Half the Sky at UMD, TerpLift (a BTC student-led campaign), and CARE to Stop Violence (McKeldin Library Special Events Room 6137, 6:30PM)
    • Courtney Brooks of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault will be leading a workshop for sexual assault awareness. She will be discussing topics such as sexual assault in the college atmosphere, and rape psychology and misconceptions about victims. Co-sponsored by Half the Sky at UMD, TerpLift and CARE to Stop Violence! Please register here to attend.

Tuesday, April 22:

  • Documentary screening: “Semper Fi: Always Faithful”, as part of BTC’s Series on “People Power: Activism for Social Change!” (South Campus Commons Building 1, Room 1102; 6:30-8:30PM)
    • Thousands of American soldiers and their families have been exposed to toxic chemicals at military sites across the U.S. In 2011, the documentary “Semper Fi: Always Faithful” brought this story to national attention. Now, in 2014, the Supreme Court will hear a case filed by these and other citizens, who are seeking the right to sue for health benefits and compensation for environmental contamination after the statute of limitations is up. In preparation for attending the Supreme Court case “CTS Corp. v. Waldburger” on Wednesday, April 23rd, Beyond the Classroom is hosting a special screening of the documentary “Semper Fi: Always Faithful” to help the University of Maryland community more fully understand the importance of this Supreme Court case.

Wednesday, April 23:

  • Civic Learning trip to the U.S. Supreme Court: Rally on Justice for Citizens Affected by Environmental Contamination (meet at 8AM in the lobby of South Campus Commons Building 1 and travel together to Upper Senate Park outside the U.S. Capitol for a rally beginning at 9AM, to be followed by a march to the steps of the Supreme Court; Metro passes will be provided to students who RSVP)
    • As shown in the documentary “Semper Fi: Always Faithful”, thousands of American soldiers and their families have been exposed to toxic chemicals at military sites across the U.S. On April 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a “CTS Corp. v. Waldburger”, filed by these and other citizens, who are seeking the right to sue for health benefits and compensation for environmental contamination after the statute of limitations is up. Renowned public advocate, Erin Brockovich will be joined by Jerry Ensminger and Mike Partain will speak the Rally as well as advocates from the Program on Government Oversight (POGO).
  • Special Student-Led Seminar: “The Affordable Grocery & Healthy Eating Project”, a BTC student-led campaign; presented as part of BTC’s Series on “Achieving a Healthy, Just & Sustainable Food System in the 21st Century” (South Campus Commons Building 1, Room 1102; 6:30-8:30PM)
    • Did you know that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared areas of Prince George’s County, including College Park, food deserts? The area dominated by the University of Maryland campus is considered a low-income, low-access area for affordable, fresh, and nutritious foods. To address the food desert situation in College Park, the Affordable Grocery and Healthy Eating Project seeks to ensure that UMD students are provided with adequate access to local, nutritious and affordable groceries.

Thursday, April 24:

  • Documentary screening: “The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community” (South Campus Commons Building 1, Room 1102; 12PM-1:30PM)
    • This film accepts the consensus of scientists that climate change has already arrived, and asks, what is keeping us from action? The film explores how unlimited growth and greed are destroying the life support system of the planet, the social fabric of the society, and the lives of billions of people. Will we have the wisdom to survive? The film features thought leaders and activists in the realms of science, economics and spirituality discussing how we can evolve and take action in the face of climate disruption. They urge us to open ourselves to the beauty that surrounds us and get to work on ensuring it thrives.

Friday, April 25:

  • The Struggle for Human Rights: Global Perspectives Documentary Film Festival, featuring films “Give Up Tomorrow” (2012, The Philippines, Spain) and “The Dictator in the Dock” (2013, Guatemala) (South Campus Commons Building 1, Room 1102; 1PM-5:30PM)
    • “Give Up Tomorrow”,  an Emmy® nominated documentary for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, and a finalist for the Puma Impact Award: As a tropical storm beats down on an island in the Philippines, two sisters leave work and never make it home… Simultaneously a murder-mystery and an exposé of endemic corruption today, GIVE UP TOMORROW looks intimately at the case of Paco Larrañaga, a student accused of killing two sisters on the provincial island of Cebu.  In a way that is both specific to the country and disquietingly universal, the film exposes a Kafkaesque extravaganza populated by flamboyantly crooked public officials, cops on the take, and a frenzied legal and media circus.
    • “The Dictator in the Dock”: This film brings viewers into the courtroom as former dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt stands trial for genocide and crimes against humanity in Guatemala. This historic case marked the first time, anywhere in the world, that a former head of state was tried for genocide in a national court, in the country where the crimes were committed. It is also the first time in the history of South or North America, that the genocide of indigenous peoples was tried in a court of law, significantly in a country of the Americas with a majority indigenous population.

 Saturday, April 26:

  • Civic Learning trip to the National Mall: The Reject and Protect Tipi Ceremony and Procession (meet at 8AM in the lobby of South Campus Commons Building 1 and travel together to the National Mall; Metro passes will be provided to students who RSVP)
    • On Earth Day 2014, the Cowboy Indian Alliance (C.I.A.) will place their tipis on the National Mall for a week-long encampment to raise awareness about the environmental, economic and social impacts of the Keystone Tar Sands XL Pipeline Project from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. We will hear from the farmers, ranchers, tribal leaders and refinery community members who will be directly impacted by Keystone XL and the tar sands; then, those leaders will carry our painted tipi to present to President Obama, with thousands of people standing behind them in solidarity. Once the tipi is delivered, we will return to the encampment in song and make our pledge to continue resistance to the pipeline should it be approved.
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Author: btcblogger

Beyond the Classroom (BTC) engages talented and diverse upper level undergraduates from across the university in a selective interdisciplinary living and learning community focused on civic engagement and social change in a global context. The BTC program prepares students to be active and responsible citizens and leaders in a complex, multi-cultural, and global society. We encourage students from all disciplines and majors to realize and develop their potential through an integrated program of academic, experiential, and service components. The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the world’s largest nonprofit and nongovernmental sector, becomes a place of learning through exciting internships and civic learning experiences.

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