Name: Olivia (Liv) Holman
Fun Fact: In the 2nd grade I won my school's turkey gobble off. I guess I had a talent for sounding like a turkey. Still not sure if that is something I should be proud of or not.
What made you want to join Divest Appalachian?
Being from the Midwest there are two prominent features throughout the landscape: corn and old factories. I grew up in a more suburban city but my parents and grandparents hail from good ole' Gary, Indiana. I guess one would say that Gary was once a poppin' place to live in for most of the 20th century. Located on Lake Michigan, Gary was a hub for coal plant and steel mill jobs; and for decades the communities thrived. But by the mid 70's the vast majority of these industries left, leaving the communities broken and surrounded by a whole host of air and water pollution problems. The aftermath of these industries, destroyed the once beloved lake front city. Gary is now primarily boarded up; people fled the city to get away from its slow and violent degradation, my parents were one of them. I joined and have stayed in Divest Appalachian because I have seen with my own eyes how fossil fuel companies can use and discard communities and the lasting effects that has on them. I am committed to this cause because my grandparents and other family members still live in Gary, breathing smelly toxic air and drinking less than desirable water. Divest Appalachian is my way of fighting to ensure the Appalachian community and communities all around the world are protected from the damaging effects of the fossil fuel industry.
What does #ResistRejectDenial mean to you?
Every so often I think back to when jokes were made about Donald Trump running for president. How funny it would be, and how people would vote for him just to see a celebrity in office. Two years and one terrifying election season later, that man who people once made jokes about is about to be inaugurated as the president of the United States. Donald Trump ran an ugly campaign built on isolating and inciting hatred of people groups, sexism, climate denial, and white supremacy. For me #ResistRejectDenial means rejecting climate denial, combating exploitation, standing for a just and sustainable future, and continuing the fight for freedom just as other generations past have. As a young black woman, I can’t afford to sit idly by these next four year. I must fight, endure suffering, celebrate small victories, and continue to push for what I believe to be just. When we ask our university to divest from the fossil fuel industry, we’re asking for to them to do more than speak about sustainability, but take necessary and bold actions towards that future. Now more than ever you have a chance to fight for the future you believe in. If you believe in creating a better future, in the rejection of Trump’s climate denial and divisive tactics, if you stand for equality, then I ask you to join us Monday, January 23, at 11am on Sanford Mall.