Ethics in Sustainability: A Fellow's Initiative

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 12:22:00 CST  — by: Anna Palmer

As a part of the Sewanee Sustainability Fellowship Program (Fellow), Haley Tucker C ’19 has been working to further sustainability on campus in a not so common way. After reading the University’s Sustainability Master Plan, Haley was inspired by the ethical and moral perspective on sustainability that was presented and is looking into “the role that ethics… must play in learning to live sustainably”. While considering which path to take for her Fellow’s project, Haley was struck by, and unable to ignore, the parallel roles that ethics and sustainable initiatives share. Because of this, Haley has been researching and reaching out to community members to start an initiative: Ethics in Sustainability. This initiative will investigate different topics and examine them from an ethical and sustainable standpoint. This upcoming semester will launch the group where Haley will look at the power of diversity: how diverse are current sustainability initiatives?  How do different ethnicities and races understand and fit in to modern sustainability?

The idea of a moral stance in sustainability is not new, and certainly one that you can see around campus, if you look hard enough. Take Dr. Jim Peters for example. A Professor of philosophy, Dr. Peters has helped implement a new major here at Sewanee: Environmental Arts and Humanities, an interdisciplinary major that explores humanity’s evolving relationship to the environment with the benefit of diverse perspectives offered by history, literature, art, philosophy, and religion. As the Master Plan says, “sustainability is by its nature interdisciplinary, responsibility for developing sustainable practices lies not with any single department or division but with every member and constitutive group within this campus community.” You could say that Dr. Peters has taken that to heart.

Just as Dr. Peters is furthering sustainability and its diverse and interdisciplinary nature, Haley is hoping to make a difference in the ways you can view and discuss sustainability. Be sure to keep a lookout for Haley’s upcoming events concerning the power of diversity. As the Sustainability Master Plan states, “Students, who often play a key role in defining Sewanee’s identity and initiatives, can be expected to participate fully in such decision-making.” Haley is not only making decisions, she is acting on them and hoping to encourage other students as well.

For more information on the Sustainability Fellow’s program, visit this link.

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