Public SupportThe Toronto350.org divestment campaign has attracted wide attention and received strong support from a large number and diversity of people and organizations. The UofT faculty and student community have shown that they overwhelmingly endorse the campaign, with organizations representing the vast majority of the current UofT participants expressing their desire to see UofT divest. Many prominent individuals have also publicly put their name forward.
Letters of support
University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) Endorsement
The UTFA has voted to endorse our divestment campaign, and have written a letter expressing support.
"We are persuaded that the University of Toronto would be making a welcome, bold, honourable, and courageous move in taking steps toward divestment... The regard and reputation of this University can only benefit from such a far-seeing and enlightened decision."
Read the open letter sent by the UTFA to UofT President Meric Gertler here.
David Suzuki has written a personal letter to UofT President Gertler (PDF), supporting UofT's divestment.
Judith Deutsch has written a letter to UofT President Gertler (PDF) on behalf of Science for Peace.
UofT alumnus Tom Rand made the following statement:
"Investment in fossil fuel companies come with significant risk: not just climate risk, but financial risk. A low-carbon economy is now inevitable, and fossil fuel companies' valuations will take a big hit as the social license to burn reserves is limited. A defensive strategy simply avoids this risk: TSX minus the carbon energy. An offensive strategy invests in low-carbon solutions â€“ public, venture and project finance all provide significant upside."
Managing Partner, MaRS Cleantech Fund I L.P.
Senior Advisor, MaRS Cleantech Venture Group
Ontario Clean Energy Task Force
Author, Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit
Letter to President Naylor
We also received support from some prominent alumni who co-signed the letter we presented to former UofT President David Naylor. These co-signatories are:
Professor of English, Univesity of Guelph; Toronto Poet Laureate
Author and activist
Journalist, author and activist
Professor of Critical Pedagogy, University of California Los Angeles
Petition and Brief Attestations
Over 1,500 members of the U of T community - including students, staff, faculty and alumni - have endorsed the U of T Fossil Fuel Divestment campaign, 350 of whom actually "read and agree with the entire content of the brief" (PDF).
U of T Individuals See below for organizations
The following UofT faculty have endorsed the brief and also wish to publicly show their support:
- Dr. Peter Russell, Professor Emeritus, Canadian Government, Dept. of Political Science
- Dr. Mel Watkins, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Political Science
- Dr. Dan Dolderman, Senior Lecturer, Environmental Psychology, Psychology Dept.
Judith Deutsch, M.S.W., visiting lecturer in the Health Studies Dept, Vice President of Science for Peace
Judith Deutsch has also written a letter of support, on behalf of Science for Peace, that she has sent to President Gertler.
- Dr. Steve Easterbrook, Professor, Department of Computer Science
- Dr. Susan Ellard, Clinical Assistant Professor, Medical Oncology at UBC (UofT Alumna)
- Dr. John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE, University of Toronto
- Dr. Romin Tafarodi, Associate Professor of Psychology
- Dr. Kundan Kumar, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geography
- Dr. Deborah Cowen, Associate Professor, Department of Geography & Programme in Planning
- Dr. Blake Poland, Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
- Dr. David Langille, Instructor, Health Studies
- C. Paul Olson, Associate Professor in the Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, OISE
Faculty from other schools:
- Dr. Mark Winfield, UofT alumnus, Professor at YorkU, author of "Blue-Green Province"
Additionally, over 300 members of the public have signed our petition.
Other Prominent Supporters
Former city Mayor of Toronto
American Indian activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer of Anishinaabe descent
In 1996 and 2000, she ran for vice president as the nominee of the Green Party of the United States, on a ticket headed by Ralph Nader. She is currently the executive director of both Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project, which she founded at White Earth Reservation in 1989.
We have also received official endorsement from the following UofT organizations:
UTSU represents all 47,000 full-time undergraduate and professional faculty students at UofTâ€™s St. George and Mississauga campuses.
UTGSU represents over 17,000 students studying in over 80 departments.
That's over 64,000 students!
Undergraduate Course Union supporters
Peace, Conflict & Justice Society
Ethics, Society & Law