On December 16, the St. Anne’s Belfield Upper School held the Greenway Symposium. They gathered three speakers to come to St. Anne’s-Belfield and speak about a public issue.
The speaker that started them off was Dr. Deborah Lawrence. Dr. Lawrence is a professor in environmental science at UVA. She is concerned with the issue of climate change around the world. While the earth gets hotter, the window to solve climate change shrinks. As well as wildfires, there have been extreme heat events and floods. Dr. Deborah Lawrence believes that greenhouse gases are not the problem. She presumes that a rise in carbon dioxide is mostly responsible for the rise in temperature. By 2050 we have to suck carbon dioxide out of the air fully.
The next speaker was Kevin M. Levin. He is a historian and author, and a past teacher at STAB. Levin’s concern was monument debates. During the Jim Crow era, confederate statues were dedicated to important confederate leaders. Many of these statues have been debated and some have been taken down already. Many people think these people don’t deserve praise. In Levin’s opinion, these statues should be removed. However, he believes that it’s the choice of the community whether these statues stay up or not.
After the statue of Silent Sam was toppled over, the University of North Carolina decided to give the Sons of Confederacy 2.5 million dollars, as well as the statue. Levin says “We have to walk in the footsteps of the best and the worst of our past.” He reminds us that we can’t deny our past; we have to learn from it and get better.
The last speaker was Ricardo Zúñiga, a Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C.
Zúñiga spoke about poverty and violence in Central America and how it affects immigration.
I wanted to know a little more about behind the scenes so I met with a Greenway member, Ari. “For the Greenway Symposium, we really thought about a good theme that could fit our community, and concerning all the hardship our community has gone through, especially surrounding the white nationalist Statues and also just the political community in general we looked for some speakers that could talk about what we thought were the hot topics. That came out to be climate change which has been highly debated recently, especially with a lot of youth taking the front stage in the battle and also about Kevin Levin talking about the confederate monuments because obviously in Charlottesville we’ve had a lot of history with the Robert E. Lee statue and Stonewall Jackson statue.” The next symposium will occur next year but “make sure to keep your eyes open for Greenway Symposium related events.”