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  • Writer's pictureQuinlan Grim

Our Letter to the Editor in the San Jose Mercury News

Last week, representatives of 350 SV, along with our partners at the Coalition for a True School of Sustainability and Fossil Free Stanford, wrote to the San Jose Mercury News in support of a recent op-ed.


The piece, "Accepting fossil fuel funds undermines Stanford’s new Sustainability School," boldly calls out Stanford's hypocrisy in opening a sustainability-centered department while refusing to divest from fossil fuel giants like Shell and Chevron. We firmly support the authors' stance on this issue and encourage our community members to continue pressuring Stanford to do the right thing.


Although we recently published a blog post about Stanford's Doerr School and its fossil fuel ties, we'd like to point out an important element discussed in this op-ed that we didn't previously cover: the issue of local environmental justice. Stanford has historically been the cause of environmental, land, and labor disparities in East Palo Alto neighborhoods. However, recent efforts by local community-based organizations, along with internal pressure from Stanford's students and stakeholders, has driven change in the form of health and housing justice initiatives. It goes to show that change is possible -- and necessary -- when it comes to holding an institution like Stanford accountable. We believe the same kind of grassroots pressure can drive divestment and more transparent environmental action at the university.


Check out our published letter to the editor here. Below is a full version of the letter, signed by members of 350 SV and the Coalition for a True School of Sustainability.


Stay tuned for further updates and actions you can take to continue holding Stanford accountable!




Our Letter to the Editor


As representatives of 350 Silicon Valley and concerned Bay Area residents, we are writing to express our enthusiastic agreement with the authors of the recent op-ed: Accepting fossil fuel funds undermines Stanford’s new Sustainability School. This article boldly calls for Stanford to divest from fossil fuel corporations and address environmental and racial injustices within the communities it relies on, a stance which 350 Silicon Valley fully supports.


The Doerr School of Sustainability claims to be committed to the well-being of all people, especially those most impacted by climate change. But the reality is that as long as Stanford continues to accept funds from fossil fuel giants like Chevron and ExxonMobil, that commitment is mere greenwashing. It is impossible to strive for a better future while accepting support from those who are actively stealing that future from the planet’s most vulnerable communities.


In partnership with the Coalition for a True School of Sustainability and Fossil Free Stanford, we believe in holding Stanford accountable and calling out this hypocrisy. Our community deserves to know that Stanford is undermining its own climate goals — we would like to see more coverage of this issue in future articles and op-eds. More public awareness creates more pressure for Stanford to do the right thing.


As stated in the op-ed, Stanford has made great strides in its community engagement, and the Doerr School of Sustainability presents a promising opportunity for future climate research and activism — if it truly stands up to its commitments. We, the undersigned, stand behind the authors’ call for Stanford to divest from fossil fuels and eagerly await further coverage of this issue.



Signed,


Ava Acevedo - Fossil Free Stanford

Daly Watermark - The Coalition for a True School of Sustainability

Quinlan Grim, Zane Warriner, Anjuli Mishra, Cheryl Weiden - 350 Silicon Valley


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