Divest all Fossil Fuel-related Funds from the KSU Endowment

Pamela Witten, President, Kennesaw State University, Lance Burchett, CEO, KSU Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the KSU Foundation

Men in Mauritius in white HAZMAT suits, cleaning an oil spill on a beach (2020).

The practice of extracting, producing, and transporting fossil fuels has had catastrophic effects on both human and non-human communities. The burning of fossil fuels for energy has produced air pollution that has “directly caused respiratory diseases including asthma and pneumonia.” As members of the Kennesaw State Community, we must think critically about our role as investors in an industry that has drastically altered livelihoods, harmed vulnerable populations, and devastated the lands and waters on which life depends. What message is our University with “strong global ties” sending by maintaining investments in the fossil fuel industry? Are the endless impacts highlighted in the University Vision Statement the same ones that are now reeking havoc on the People of Mauritius, those of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North and South Dakota, the fisherman living along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, and the communities around the world struggling with respiratory health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Kennesaw State University is a signatory to multiple environmental and sustainability agreements, including Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment, pledging support from the President’s Office to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We offer courses on sustainability, renewable energy, environmental policy, and eco-feminism. However, it is important that environmental virtue signalling does not go without dialogue, action, and change at the institutional level, bridging the gap between the classroom and the boardroom. We cannot offer courses or prepare students to enact meaningful environmental change while continuing to fund the antithesis of environmental protection in the name of university development.  

We strongly urge the Kennesaw State University Foundation to divest all endowment funds from companies and industries pertaining to the production of fossil fuels. We further ask that the KSU Foundation reevaluate their investment protocols to consider investing in renewable, sustainable, and equitable energy sources. Please sign this petition to ask Kennesaw State to stop investing in this industry.

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To: Pamela Witten, President, Kennesaw State University, Lance Burchett, CEO, KSU Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the KSU Foundation
From: [Your Name]

"I ask that the Kennesaw State University Foundation STOP investing in the fossil fuel industry, which has harmed so many communities around the world. I urge the KSU Foundation to divest these funds from those businesses in the energy category, and re-invest in sustainable energy resources."