Fossil Free UC student activists celebrating having their voices heard at a Board of Regents meeting

Fossil Free UC: An Exhibition

Mon, 11/13/2023 - 8:00am to Fri, 06/21/2024 - 5:00pm
Ocean Gallery

UCSB Library is pleased to present an exhibition documenting student activism with materials held by the Library's Special Research Collections. This exhibition celebrates the achievement of the student-led campaign as a testament to the power of collective action to transform our university and our world. 

Between 2012-2019, student activists led a UC-wide coalition– the Fossil Free UC campaign– to pressure the University to divest faculty and staff retirement funds from oil company shares. UCSB students were at the forefront of the movement, working closely with their peers at other campuses. Their grassroots campaign exposed the disjuncture between public perception of Santa Barbara as a haven for environmentalism and the University’s investments in the fossil fuel industry. Through a strategic combination of demonstrations, letter-writing, and face-to-face conversations, students and supporting faculty made it clear that the UC was complicit and profiting from environmental destruction caused by oil companies. 

This exhibition was co-curated by Mona Damluji (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) and Andrea Serna (History, UCSB).

Co-sponsored by UCSB's Department of Environmental Studies, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center's Re-Centering Energy Justice Research Focus Group, and the Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Energy Justice in Global Perspective.