Campaign Updates!

For the most recent updates, and to see photos from the campaign, check out our Facebook page or our Twitter account (@BrownDivestCoal).


NOVEMBER 7, 2013: Brown Students deliver a letter to President Paxson demanding more transparency, accountability, and responsiveness from the administration. 15 students and frontlines community members sit in University Hall insisting the University become more representative of the voices of Brown’s community, and divest from the coal industry. Read the press release here.

OCTOBER 27, 2013: President Paxson announced that Brown University has decided not to divest from the 15 largest coal companies in the U.S. We are deeply disappointed in the lack of leadership from Brown. Read the update from President Christina Paxson here, and Brown Divest Coal’s press release here.

OCTOBER 2, 2013: Bill Mckibben, founder of, James Rogers, the former CEO of Duke Energy, and Christian Parenti, professor of sustainable development at the School for International Training, debated whether or not Brown should divest from coal. This was the first time a fossil fuel CEO confronted the divestment movement in a public debate. Read our full press release here.

OCTOBER 4, 2013: Peter Singer (professor of bioethics at Princeton University), Junior Walk (West Virginian activist fighting against mountain top removal), and George Thurston (professor of environmental health at the NYU Medical Center and one of the leading experts on the impacts of air pollution) spoke about the importance of coal divestment at a Brown Divest Coal teach-in. Read the full press release here, and watch Peter Singer’s case for divestment here.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2013: Brown students showed support for coal divestment by getting rid of a pile of “coal” on Brown’s green. Watch the time lapse video of the coal vanishing here!

MAY 23, 2013: Two students from Brown Divest Coal attended a Brown Board of Trustees meeting — an unprecedented opportunity. They answered board members’ questions about coal divestment. Read our full press release here.

MAY 20TH, 2013: Students from Brown Divest Coal have been invited to answer questions at Brown’s board meeting on May 23rd — an unprecedented opportunity. Read our full press release here.

MAY 10TH, 2013: Brown Divest Coal was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition! Check out the full story here!

APRIL 17TH, 2013: A group of professors just delivered a letter to President Paxson calling on the Corporation to vote yes to divestment in May. They also delivered a list of 100 faculty and department staff that have signed our petition.

APRIL 4TH, 2013: On April 4, ACCRIP members voted to recommend divestment from the Filthy Fifteen. You can see a copy of their recommendation here.

MARCH 21, 2013: A group of students and Professor Dawn King presented a letter to President Paxson’s office from Tom Steyer, a billionaire and founder of the hedge fund Farallon Capital Management. In the letter, he expresses his support for the university’s divestment from coal.

MARCH 14TH, 2013: Bob Massie, a leading environmentalist who was involved in divestment from South African apartheid during his time at Princeton, spoke to students about divestment as a strategy for social action. Bill McKibben made a video appearance too!

MARCH 12TH, 2013: On March 12th, 2012, Brown’s Undergraduate Council of Students approved a resolution in favor of divestment from the Filthy 15.

MARCH 4TH, 2013: March Fo(ur)th for Climate Justice! On the first ever National Day of Action for Fossil Fuel Divestment campaigns, 50 Brown students gathered in solidarity with students across the country to speak and chant and demand that our university stop profiting from climate change.

FEBRUARY 8TH, 2013: Students did not have class because of Blizzard Nemo, but over 100 students still gathered on the main green outside of University Hall at 10 a.m. while it was sleeting for a rally to remind the Corporation that we are serious about mobilizing for divestment.

JANUARY 15th, 2013: over 100 students and alumni flooded Brown University’s Facebook page with recommendations, photos, and videos calling on President Paxson to be a leader in divestment from the Filthy Fifteen.

NOVEMBER 29TH, 2012: 140 students rallied in front of President Paxson’s office to demand immediate divestment!

NOVEMBER 26TH, 2012: Bill McKibben of joined us for a special stop on his Do the Math tour. 600 people came out to hear McKibben speak about the urgency of the climate crisis and the role of universities in solving it.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…The Brown Divest Coal Campaign was founded in September 2012, when a group of students met in a classroom to discuss the idea of making Brown a leader around fossil fuel divestment. The campaign decided to focus on the 15 filthiest coal companies, with a long-term goal of divestment from all fossil fuels. On October 2nd, 30 students visited President Paxson’s office to deliver our first official demand to the University, asking for immediate divestment. In late November, 70 students joined us to hear Professors Tim Herbert, Dawn King and Stephanie Malin discuss the effects of coal  around the globe. We were also lucky to be joined by Dustin Steele of Matewan, WV, who spoke about the effect of coal mining on his community and his reasons for being an anti-mountaintop removal activist.