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Students Envision Climate Justice through Tunnel Art Competition
About the Student Art Displays
The Climate Justice & Sustainability Hub organized a student competition to create art pieces depicting climate justice and sustainability themes, resulting in five winners whose work now adorns the Boston Campus tunnel system. Each piece artistically embodies one of the Hub’s goals, such as advancing sustainable campuses, contributing to a just economy, collaborating with communities, and leveraging research for equitable climate solutions. The competition aimed to not only enhance the tunnels with student art but also promote climate justice awareness at Northeastern as the Hub collaborates with the local community on the Climate Justice Action Plan.
Major: Rylan - Business Administration with minor in Sustainable Business Practices and Environmental Studies.
Aishling - Behavioral Neuroscience and Design.
On the Boston campus, Northeastern students and faculty have the privilege of being surrounded by vibrant and eclectic communities just a walk away. This presents both an opportunity and a duty to work alongside nearby neighborhoods to meet sustainability and equitability goals. In this piece, the diverse Northeastern and Roxbury communities are seen planting “seeds of change”, cultivating a garden of support and allyship. The ISEC bridge transitioning into the Roxbury community garden represents the collaboration and encouragement we want to amplify between Northeastern and adjacent communities.
This piece offers an interpretation of a post-climate crisis world and centers on a community impacted by the ongoing problem. Black communities in the United States are disproportionately more vulnerable to floods, air pollution exacerbated by climate change, and toxic chemicals in their personal care products. A consequence of the climate crisis is the lack of opportunities for people of all ages to experience a more carefree lifestyle, which inspired the more mundane actions in the artwork.
Equitable and sustainable neighborhoods are achievable if we work together and put in a collective effort. An essential step to meeting this goal is the promotion of environmentally friendly modes of transportation, like trains that run on renewable energy, rather than the usage of unsustainable vehicles like cars that produce greenhouse gas emissions. This piece aims to emphasize the positive impact that the incorporation of sustainable transportation can have on the environment, especially with a joint effort from the greater community.
Just as Northeastern’s Boston campus acts as a base for students to explore global connections and opportunities, in this piece Ell Hall is acting as a flowerpot with roots stretching across various landmarks around the globe. Additionally, the plants budding out of Ell Hall represent our different campuses, with state flowers for domestic campuses and native flowers for international campuses. Overall, the piece represents Northeastern’s diverse network empowering sustainability efforts around the globe via rich academic growth and community engagement.
This piece represents some of the ways Northeastern collaborates with adjacent communities and leverages research and academic strengths to advance just and equitable solutions to the climate crisis. There are sections of the artwork portraying how Northeastern has intersected culture and community with food, as well as sections representing different members of the community playing and interacting in a sustainable neighborhood and shared space. Lastly, part of the artwork draws inspiration from the centers and institutes across Northeastern's network of campuses, and highlights how researchers work together to foster equitable solutions to the climate crisis.