On Tuesday, March 19, and Wednesday, March 20, Michigan State University will host the Points of Intervention Tour, a traveling environmental justice event spearheaded by the Post-Landfill Action Network, a zero waste advocacy organization based in New Hampshire. Held on campus, the event will feature speakers, workshops and a resource fair. Campus partners include MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center, MSU Residential and Hospitality Services, MSU Sustainability, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.
The Points of Intervention Tour—named after the theory described in Beautiful Trouble, a book collaboratively written by a network of artist-activists-strategists—will increase awareness of the differences between a linear and circular economy, invite attendees to question dominant and unsustainable consumption patterns, and develop skills to intervene in the face of injustice. Students and community members will leave feeling inspired to take personal and public action around issues they’re passionate about, and advocate for environmental, social, and economic justice in business practices, local policies, and campus operations.
The evening of March 19 kicks off with a wide-angle discussion led by keynote speaker Michelle Martinez, a Detroit activist and coordinator for the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition. Then, Post-Landfill Action Network’s Ansley Pope will moderate a six-person panel featuring: Junior Walk, an Appalachian activist who fights against mountaintop removal mining; Steve Baibak, a local artist who constructs art with reclaimed materials; Kerrin O’Brien, director of a Lansing nonprofit that recently helped secure state funding for recycling programs; Dana Kirk, the lead engineer responsible for MSU’s energy-producing anaerobic digester; Devan Dodge, Sustainability & Pollution Prevention Program Analyst at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; and Diana Copeland, a Spartan PhD student who serves as president of Grassroots Global Justice. The group will talk candidly about the moments that pushed them into activism, how to stay motivated, and what you can do to make a difference. The keynote and panel will take place in the MSU Union Ballroom from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The following day, March 20, Points of Intervention will set up at the Broad Art Museum and Art Lab for consciousness-raising workshops from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and an interactive resource fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Workshops include Capitalism & Zero Waste, Break Free From Plastic, and Stay Rad Post-Grad. Sessions will be held inside Oscar Tuazon’s Water School installation, currently on exhibit at the museum. Workshops are open to anyone, though are tailored towards students.
Over 25 exhibitors will set up at the resource fair, allowing visitors to discover student groups, local organizations, and businesses of interest; pick up tips on zero waste living; and gain new tools for fighting injustice. Exhibitors include EcoWorks Detroit, Iris Waste Diversion Specialists, Spartan Upcycle Store, Student Organic Farm, Clean Water Action, Lansing Food Not Bombs, Allen Neighborhood Center, Young Living Essential Oils, League of Women Voters, Moosejaw, and East Lansing Hot Yoga, which will offer a free yoga class.
Various student groups will be represented, including Slow Foods MSU, MSU Sunrise, MSU Solar Car Team, Optimize MSU, Reneu MSU, Student Greenhouse Project, Sustainable Business Association, Sustainable Spartans, Engineers for a Sustainable World, and the Sustainable Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Club. There will also be on-site bike repair, DIY soap demonstrations, and more.