For the Record Vol. 116 No. 15

Quinn Brenneke
Editor-in-Chief
quinnb@goshen.edu

Student environmental activists and EcoPAX club members have made it clear that it’s time for change.

This week, The Record reports that a group of students want Goshen College to withdraw its endowment funds from investments in companies that use fossil fuels.

Photographed in this week’s issue are some of those same students also protesting in downtown Goshen against the proposed bi-national Keystone XL pipeline project, making their point loud and clear that the natural environment matters.

These voices come at the same time that John Kerry, U.S. secretary of state, pours over an 11-volumn report released by the State Department on Friday that says the Keystone pipeline would not worsen carbon pollution, according to The New York Times.

Kerry plans to interpret the report and give a recommendation to President Obama regarding this project that would essentially create a pipe to carry oil from Alaska to the Gulf Coast through Canada and the U.S. No deadline has been set for his recommendation.

Environmentalists countrywide have protested the project for two years, claiming it will cause environmental degradation. GC students joined those voices downtown this week.

These students are pioneers venturing into a world of policy.

February is Black History Month, a time to remember other pioneers.

People like Charlotta Bass, who became the first African-American woman nominated to run for vice president in 1952, and Howard Thurman, an African-American who pastored one of the nation’s first interracial churches, were two pioneers who helped establish today’s world.

Voices of student racial minority pioneers venturing into the world of a mostly white GC campus will appear in The Record in coming weeks in recognition of Black History Month, beginning this week on the perspectives page.

I do not believe the myth of a post-racial society, nor do I believe the U.S. has reached its potential in environmental justice. Another piece of legislation passed this week addresses both topics.

U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan farm bill after five years of deliberation on Tuesday. The bill, which is reported to be signed into law by President Obama on Friday according to The Times, extends crop insurance to U.S. famers while cutting $8 million over 10 years from federal food stamps.

According to a Pew Research study conducted in 2012, 18 percent of U.S. adult citizens have received food stamps sometime in their lives; and of them, 31 percent identified in a survey as African-American, 22 percent as Hispanic, 18 percent as other racial identities and 15 percent as white.

Cuts to food stamps disproportionately affect people experiencing economic hardship as well as racial minorities. Investing money in companies that use fossil fuels affects the natural environment.

These facts beg the question, “Can we call ourselves Christ-centered peacemakers, global citizens, servant-leaders and passionate learners if we consciously know that our actions negatively affect vulnerable people around the world?”

Discuss.

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