During the fall 2022 semester, incoming first-year students and other members of the Meredith community who participate in the Summer Reading Program will explore one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change.
Climate Conversations: Women on the Forefront will focus specifically on the efforts of women who are working to mitigate the detrimental effects of climate change.
Rather than a single book, this year’s program will feature a multimedia website that hosts a variety of resources about climate science and climate activism. A range of articles, podcasts, TED Talks, literary works, and fine/performing arts pieces will appeal to the many ways students learn and take in information.
“We are excited about offering stories and information about climate change in a variety of media formats,” said Chrissie Bumgardner, co-chair of the Summer Reading Program committee. “Students like to consume information in different ways – and each format provides a slightly different perspective, which offers a richer, more well-rounded view that will, in turn, enrich our conversations.”
Given the focus of the program, Bumgardner said the committee also liked the sustainability of using digital resources. And she noted that in researching potential materials for the website, committee members tried to look for stories that offered a hopeful perspective.
“We know students have been through a lot in the past few years, and climate change is such an overwhelming topic,” she said. “We thought it was important to counter some of that anxiety with some positive stories of women who are working to bring about real change.”
Students, faculty, and staff will be notified when the website is up and running. In addition to the various resources, the website will also include a series of questions to help guide discussions held in September.
Over the summer, the committee will continue to work with others on campus to identify potential related events and programs that may be offered by departments.
“Given the broad nature of the topic, there are many ways our colleagues might incorporate the theme into their programs and classes,” said Bumgardner. “We hope to offer students a range of experiences and perspectives from as many disciplines as possible.”
Learn more about Meredith’s Summer Reading Program