Sunrise Columbia is the environmental activist group at Columbia University. We are dedicated to combatting climate change by holding Columbia accountable for its impact and educating the Columbia community about institutional issues.

This semester, we are focusing on a fossil free research campaign. We are speaking up against fossil-fuel funding of our environmental research and demanding the Columbia administration for more transparency and drastic reductions of donations from fossil fuels companies. 

We also are concerned with Divestment, or taking our endowment money out of fossil fuel companies. Columbia’s current divestment policy (which came about after years of activism) is riddled with gaps and loopholes. Learn more here.

Our Principles (Sunrise National)

  1. We grow our power through organizing our communities.
    We bring our neighbors, families, classmates, community leaders, and thousands of unorganized young people into our movement. Building a mass movement of ordinary people across race and class is the only way we transform society.
  2. We are rooted in what we’re fighting for.
    We all have something to lose to the climate crisis and something to gain in coming together. We tell our stories about race, class, where we’re from, and who we are to remind ourselves and the public of that truth. This is how we build a powerful movement.
  3. We are all on a journey to become better organizers, leaders, and people.
    Our opposition is powerful and disciplined: we need to be too. We take our own growth seriously by developing our craft as organizers and learning from our mistakes. We do this with compassion for ourselves and each other.
  4. We rise to the challenge.
    This moment in history requires us to take risks, embrace experimentation, and do things we never believed were possible. We choose hope over cynicism and action over fear – when we step into leadership, make hard decisions, or take to the streets.
  5. We transform ourselves so our movement can win.
    We are fighting to become the generation that turns the tide against racism and the institutions built upon it. We unlearn oppressive attitudes and fearlessly confront a status quo that divides us based on our skin color, the money in our pockets, where we live, who we love, and who we are. Getting there is a lifelong journey, and we prepare for it to be so.
  6. We ask for help and we give what we can.
    Some of us give time, others give money, donate housing, or offer skills. When we are struggling, we reach out for support. We redistribute our resources to grow our community and enable more people to participate in the movement.
  7. We respect each other and our shared home.
    The only way we will win is with a movement of everyday people. We treat every person we meet with the respect that belief requires. To do that we have to build trusting relationships that let us hold each other accountable across rank, race, and other identities.
  8. We are a united movement.
    Every time we knock doors, take action, or talk about the Green New Deal, we know that there are thousands of other Sunrisers working alongside us. We ground our work locally, and throw down together at key moments to transform our whole country.
  9. We oppose state violence with nonviolent action.
    We live in a violent, militarized state that evicts, deports, incarcerates and brutalizes everyday people and then looks away as fires and floods destroy our homes. Those in power use this violence to keep us scared, disempowered, and divided along lines of race, class, and geography. We, as Sunrise, will not win by confronting their violence with violent actions. We combat their violence by boldly organizing our communities across race and class. This helps us protect ourselves and our communities as much as we can, bring the most people in, and build the power we need to win.
  10. We are in solidarity with other movements for change.
    Winning a Green New Deal is one step in the project of collective liberation. We learn from the legacy of movements that came before us, stand beside groups who share our values, and unite in key moments to shift the balance of power in our country.
  11. We are full of determination, fire, and hope.
    Though our times are often dark and difficult, we know that sinking into despair is not an option. We choose to believe in ourselves and our movements, and make space for light and love in our lives. Changing the world is a joyful and fulfilling process, and we let that show.