Associated Students Host Series of Events For Earth Week


Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

Mackenzie McNemar, Staff

DVC Earth Week Flyer

In the spirit of Earth Week, the Associated Students of Diablo Valley College hosted a series of four events this week focused on educating people while engaging them in current environmental issues.

The first session, held on Monday, April 19, focused on sustainable eating. John Matthesen, a speaker at the event, owns a sustainable farm in Pleasant Hill that mostly focuses on permaculture. Matthesen has opened up his farm to teach DVC’s culinary students about sustainable farming.

In a conversation with DVC environmental affairs officer Gerardo “Panda” De La Torre, Matthesen talked about how “our personal desires are affecting the habitats in other parts of the world,” and blocking people from thinking sustainably.

On April 20, an event hosted by ASDVC targeted professional development and included a Q&A panel featuring figures in the environmental justice field, such as Madison Aberer, the recycling coordinator at Republic Services; Vic Vong, an environmental equity fellow at The Greenlining Institute; Kirsten Riker, project manager at 511 Contra Costa; and Marci Cole-Ekberg, a biology professor at DVC.

The purpose of the panel was to encourage students from all backgrounds to consider careers working on environmental issues – and to show that you don’t need to be an engineer or a scientist to do positive work for the community and the climate. 

The school’s performing arts centers, including the music, drama and dance departments, participated in the third Earth Week event, held on April 20, which featured a Q&A focusing on ways that people’s art resonated with the environment.

The horticulture department also joined on the call to educate participants about the benefits of composting. To date, “unfortunately we don’t have a lot of composting” at DVC, said De La Torre.

To end the week’s events, Vic Vong of The Greenlining Institute gave a presentation about environmental justice and held a Q&A to provide space for discussion around critical issues facing local professionals. De La Torre concluded that when it comes to environmental concerns, “we’ve got a long way to go,” but Earth Week was a step in the right direction.