Students Working for Environmental Action and Transformation (SWEAT) is committed to defending social justice through environmental initiatives. We communicate messages of environmental and political activism through local initiatives, but have extended our reach to the state level as well, and have participated in several international service learning trips.
This past year, we worked with the Rogers Road community in its efforts to maintain adequate public health standards by securing safe water and sewer infrastructure. We organized weekend trips to RENA Community Garden and through several education-focused initiatives, spoke with Chapel Hill middle school students on the implications of local environmental justice issues. Over the course of two semesters, we hosted a Political Action Boot Camp, featuring newly elected town council members.
We are currently organizing a Rural Sustainability Summit to be held in the Fall of 2016, focusing on issues of economic development, energy, food, and water security in rural North Carolina. After merging with SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition) this past semester, we¹ve absorbed new members and ideas, and welcome anyone who¹s interested in helping organize upcoming projects!
Other past on-campus initiatives have included hosting the Carolinas PowerShift ’09 Conference, and the promotion of reusable water bottles as well as Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. SWEAT service learning trips have included a greenbelt project in Kenya, a water sanitation project in Tanzania, and a greenhouse project in Bolivia.
SWEAT was one of the 2012 recipients of the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award for its role in tackling environmental injustice in Chapel Hill’s Rogers Road Community.