[media-credit name=’LUKAS KEAPPROTH/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′][/media-credit]
Members of the Green Coalition froze on Bascom Hill Wednesday — not because of the cold weather but as part of a series of events included in Green Week.
The rally is known as a flash mob in which members hold signs and freeze in their positions for an extended period of time.
Like the many other events planned for the upcoming days, the flash mob sought to increase awareness about issues concerning environmental justice, said Green Coalition Program Director Olivia Zieve.
There were few participants, but Green Coalition Chair Lea Zeise said the rally was still effective.
“I think we got a lot of attention because it was so cold out, and we were standing out there,” Zeise said.
A similar event will take place at the bottom of Bascom Hill today at 12:55 p.m.
The flash mob is part of a series of events taking place this week and next week focusing on the topics of food, water and shelter within the framework of environmental justice, said Rachel Butler, interim communications coordinator for the coalition.
Other events include a free dinner at Grainger Hall Thursday focusing on the use of local and organic foods, and a free showing of the Pixar film “Wall-E” at the Play Circle Theater next Tuesday night focusing on waste production and conservation.
Another event Butler highlighted was a potluck dinner Wednesday night to take place at the Wine Co-op on 123 W. Gorham St. at 7:30 p.m. This event will focus specifically on local aspects of environmental justice, she said.
“It is geared toward individuals who are interested in environmental justice issues and want to do something about environmental justice issues in Madison,” Butler said.
Butler explained the overall goal of Green Week and of the Green Coalition is to point out the connection between social and environmental issues.
“The point of our coalition is to foster a dialogue and to create connections between what people consider social issues and what people consider environmental issues because, beneath their bases, they are all interconnected,” Butler said. “You can’t separate one from the other. Throughout the week, we aim to establish that connection.”
Butler said there currently is environmental injustice in which people don’t have access to healthy food, clean water and adequate housing.
“Across the globe, and even in the U.S., low-income communities are disproportionately affected by environmental risks and environmental harm,” Butler added.
She cited the mercury levels in Madison’s lakes as one example of a local environmental justice issue. In light of how recently the Green Coalition was formed, Butler stressed that it is still open to further growth.
“The Green Coalition is a new coalition on campus. We want everyone — all student groups and students on campus who want to be a part of this — to come be a part of our coalition,” Butler said.