Name: Samantha (Sam) Smyth
Fun Fact: I rode on an airplane nine times before I was one- didn’t waste time racking up my fossil fuel calories!
What made you want to join Divest Appalachian?
I heard about the Our Generation Our Choice protest through a member of Divest Appalachian and concluded there’d be no better opportunity than attending my first protest than in the nation’s capital! Afterwards I made a conscious effort to get involved with divestment work and direct actions. The welcoming, genuine, and forward-thinking individuals who taught and continue to teach me the ins and outs of divestment are what keeps me involved and motivated to keep fighting!
When I joined, the campaign was switching tactics; moving from working within the system, to harnessing student power. The root of the change was due to the necessity to include environmental racism and justice into our narrative as opposed to simply dealing with the bureaucracy of investments. This hit home for me because less than a year prior, my hometown, Baltimore made its voice heard. Hundreds of people hit the streets to protest police brutality and institutionalized racism. Institutions that were lawfully suppose to protect and uplift their community members were radically against the people. I experienced my city being occupied by the United States Armed Forces, I experienced a mandatory curfew, and I experienced the not so subtle side-taking between family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. To see my home wrought in violent polarization by forces larger than my tangibility to fix made me realize I had been blinded and misinformed about the real state of my city and country for nineteen years.
What does #ResistRejectDenial mean to you?
Douglas Adams once said, "All opinions are not equal. Some are a great deal more robust sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.” We will not let our government argue or legitimize the “fact” that climate change is not real or that it is a hoax. We must disavow the blatant disregard for our well-beings and futures by climate deniers in office. We must stand up for the millions of people who are dying at the hands of powerful, morally corrupt individuals’ who deny climate change. We must resist the notion that citizens do not have a voice and that elected officials call the shots. The time to stand up against Trump has never been more urgent than now.