MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2017 Activities by Sponsor - Fossil Free MIT

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Activism, Organizing, and Social Movements

Patrick Brown

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

Are you worried about threats to social justice, a stable climate, and democratic values under President Trump, but unsure what one person can do?

Have you been signing petitions and calling your congresspeople, but wanting more face-to-face interaction with action-oriented people at MIT?

Do you want to learn and share tools for being a more effective activist and find ways to get involved in local organizations?

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, attend this new IAP course on Activism, Organizing, and Social Movements. Starting the Wednesday after the inauguration and continuing throughout the rest of IAP, join a series of student- and staff-led sessions with the goal of developing together the skills and frameworks to understand and approach activism, organizing, and social movements in strategic and effective ways. The sessions are meant for all skill levels; whether you’re completely new to activism or are a veteran campaigner, come share your questions and knowledge. We’ll finish with an Activist Open House featuring a number of local activist groups, giving everyone a chance to learn about local organizing opportunities and commit to getting involved.

All sessions meet in 32-144 at 5pm (except for Fri 1/27, which meets in 32-124).

For the full schedule and to RSVP, visit

Sponsor(s): Fossil Free MIT
Contact: Patrick Brown, 617 324-3801, PRBROWN@MIT.EDU

Student activism panel

Jan/25 Wed 05:00PM-06:30PM 32-144

Why activism, and why MIT? Featuring students from Fossil Free MIT, MIT Democrats, CASE, and Solidarity MIT.

Digital security and anti-surveillance

Jan/26 Thu 05:00PM-07:00PM 32-144

In an era of mass surveillance, how can you practice activism (and the rest of your life) securely and privately?

Introduction to community organizing

Jan/27 Fri 05:00PM-07:00PM 32-144

How can you organize within your own community to achieve broad social change?

Power analysis and media strategy

Jan/30 Mon 05:00PM-07:00PM 32-124

What's your message, who needs to hear it, and how can you make yourself heard?

Intersectionality and effective allyship

Jan/31 Tue 05:00PM-07:00PM 32-144

How can we operate in solidarity with marginalized groups of people, particularly when coming from a background of privilege?

Class and inequality

Feb/01 Wed 05:00PM-06:30PM 32-144

How do class identities impact each of us, and how can we take them into account as an activist?

Activist organization open house

Feb/02 Thu 05:00PM-06:30PM 10-105

Hear from local grassroots groups about how to get involved. Featuring: Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Boston, Represent.Us, GreenRoots, Cambridge Progressive Action Coalition, Democratic Socialists of America, Brand New Congress, JETPAC, Engineering Activism, Solidarity MIT, FFMIT, MIT Democrats, MIT Class Awareness, Support, and Equality (CASE), MIT Student Activist Coalition (SACO), and MIT Stop Our Silence.

Turning ideas into action

Feb/03 Fri 05:00PM-06:30PM 9-255

What are your ideas and skills, and how will you work for change? Generate new ideas, form working groups, and make your plan for action.

Climate Action Film Series

Tse Lang Yim, Kaylee Brent, Patrick Healy Moran

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

Every Thursday over IAP, from 7:00-9:00pm, we will be watching a different climate-related film.  In the third week, the executive producer of Age of Consequences, Sophie Robinson, will host a Q&A session after the film!

1/12/17 in room 32-123:Years of Living Dangerously (selected episodes)

1/19/17 in room 4-270: Before the Flood

1/26/17 in room 32-123: Age of Consequences

2/2/17 in room 4-270: How to Let Go of the World (and love all the things climate can't change)


Sponsor(s): Fossil Free MIT
Contact: Kaylee Brent, 360-852-6604, KBRENT@MIT.EDU

Climate Action Hands On: Harnessing Science with Communities to Cut Carbon

Dave Damm-Luhr, Rajesh Kasturirangan, Britta Voss, Patrick Brown

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/18
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

Looking to put your skills into action to tackle climate change? Regardless of your field, this course will engage participants in the practical side of collecting data, using technical solutions to climate challenges and working with diverse community groups to accelerate progress.

Through in-class lectures and discussion, as well as a data collection field trip and a “maker”-style activity session in 10-150 at MIT , participants will get background about effective science-based community action and practice putting that knowledge into action themselves. The course will focus on approaches to applying scientific data and new technologies to climate-related research needs, community risks, and policy actions, with a particular emphasis on urban methane emissions.

Problem solvers of all backgrounds and experience levels are welcome! Just bring a passion for changing the world for the better and an eagerness to roll up your sleeves.

Register for the course at:

Sponsor(s): Fossil Free MIT
Contact: Curt Newton,

Overview of citizen science

Jan/18 Wed 01:00PM-03:30PM 4-153

Introduction to citizen/community science networks in operation, including PublicLab; future of community science and why climate science could benefit from a community approach.

Dave Damm-Luhr, Rajesh Kasturirangan, Britta Voss

Hackathon on methane leak visualization

Jan/23 Mon 09:00AM-01:00PM 10-150

Mini-hackathon on database building, app development, data collection equipment design/construction, data visualization, GIS data processing, animation/infographic design, and emissions modeling. Details on the history of natural gas infrastructure nationally and in Boston area, protocols for reporting and fixing leaks, methane monitoring methods, opportunities for community involvement.

Dave Damm-Luhr, Rajesh Kasturirangan, Nathan Phillips, Britta Voss

Sniffing out urban methane leaks

Jan/31 Tue 10:00AM-02:00PM Location TBD

Hands-on activity collecting data on real-word methane leaks from natural gas infrastructure across Cambridge.

Dave Damm-Luhr, Rajesh Kasturirangan, Britta Voss, Nathan Phillips

Putting citizen-collected data to use

Feb/01 Wed 01:00PM-03:30PM 4-153

Debrief data collection on methane gas leaks and understand the value, uses and cautions of citizen-collected data. Discuss problems of field data collection and implications and explore the policy questions for which citizen science data can be used, including the history and record of results of environmental law in practice, science as evidence in legal battles, and leveraging media attention.

Dave Damm-Luhr, Rajesh Kasturirangan, Britta Voss, Nathan Phillips, Chris Nidel