Environmental Justice & Climate Leadership
As the leader of the Fossil Free WashU campaign, the former president of Green Action, and a committed member for the last three years, Allie Lindstrom, a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences, has built successful, coordinated initiatives that have raised awareness of issues such as the West Lake Landfill, fossil fuel divestment, and others. Allie has paved a path for linking environmental justice efforts at Washington University to national networks while serving as a steadfast mentor for underclassmen interested in environmental justice and informing much of the institution’s environmental justice work.
Her leadership has resulted in an engaged student movement. In the divestment campaign, she organized actions that opened the conversation around investment transparency and brought divestment to the Board of Trustees. Beyond divestment, Allie’s leadership in creating a campus culture around environmental justice has allowed for mainstreaming Green Action’s areas of concern as large issues for the campus environmental community.
Allie also creates structure for replicability within the organization and within our projects – building the framework to train and activate a new generation of environmental leaders on WashU’s campus. For example, in preparation for studying abroad, Allie facilitated a visioning exercise and let members naturally define roles that they are comfortable with. As a result, four freshmen and other underclassmen will begin to lead in the areas of environmental and social justice next semester. This is no small feat and is the sort of leadership on which larger campus initiatives and internships depend.
Allie has linked Fossil Free WashU’s environmental justice work to other social justice organizing on campus and throughout the WashU community. She spent this last summer at Great Rivers Environmental Law Center as a Goldman Fellow and continues her work there using GIS to prepare for an equal protection lawsuit related to air pollution. Lastly, Allie has broadened the university environmental justice community’s links with Powershift Network and the Sunrise Movements, two national organizations fighting for environmental and climate justice. In December, she organized and led ten Washington University students to push for a Green New Deal in Washington, DC on top of follow up lobbying visits to Rep. Lacy Clay and continued engagement with his staff.
Allie’s organization, leadership, tenacity and empathy has led to sustained community organizing for environmental justice within Green Action, the St. Louis community, and nationally through the Sunrise movement, demonstrating impact and fostering the next generation of leadership. Allie embodies all aspect of sustainability leadership–environmental, social and organizational.