On September 9th, Harvard University divested from fossil fuel money and agreed to let its indirect fossil fuel investments lapse. After 10 years of pressure, Harvard - the wealthiest college in the world, with its $41 billion endowment - has finally listened.
We want to be clear: students and supporters, faculty and friends, activists and alums won divestment. Harvard may feign leadership in this moment, despite their years of denying science and ignoring student demands, but we know that the administration could not even say the word “divest.” Today we celebrate the organizers. We celebrate their power. We celebrate their care and relentlessness.
We celebrate this victory as a sign that people power and persistence can topple the wealthiest and most entrenched. This divestment puts pressure on thousands of other schools: it is a signal to all universities and institutions that they can and must divest from the fossil fuel industry. This victory is a reminder to us that the world can shift on a Thursday, because of our everyday organizing.
We will continue to support Divest Harvard in their calls for the university to finish the divestment process, to eliminate their carbon emissions by 2050, to terminate academic funding from fossil fuel companies, and to prevent fossil fuel companies from recruiting on campus.
We will continue to support all campus campaigns in their organizing because today we also remember that this is only the beginning. All of our educational institutions must fully divest from fossil fuels and from carbon - and also from prisons and the military.
To the Divest Harvard organizers: we wish you rest, joy and continued success.
To everyone in this movement: celebrate, and then join us in November for the Divestment Day of Action across campuses in the US and Canada. Together we are powerful and we are capable. We’ll see you soon.
In love and solidarity,
The DivestEd Team