By Sebastian Moronta Blanco, Staff Writer
Sam Eyong, much like many other students on campus, cares deeply about the environment, and wants to help educate his peers and colleagues on the subject, one movie at a time.
Eyong, a junior economics major at UMass Dartmouth, is a member of the Green Navigators, a student-run product of the sustainability office on campus that focuses on community engagement in environment-related topics. The group is hosting a film series screening a wide range of films on the subject, every third Wednesday of the month until the end of the semester.
The first screening was this past Wednesday, and both members and non-members showed up to Library Room 207 for a showing of Before the Flood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Before The Flood, according to the film’s website, follows Dicaprio’s “journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. He goes on expeditions with scientists uncovering the reality of climate change and meets with political leaders fighting against inaction.
He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis.
With unprecedented access to thought leaders around the world, DiCaprio searches for hope in a rising tide of catastrophic news.”
The Torch spoke with Eyong before the film began, and asked about the group’s priorities.
“Our main focus is to try and incorporate the school’s students and organizations so that we can come together and discuss and try to think of solutions and ways we can become more sustainable,” said Eyong.
“We want to make sure that our environment is safe and we’re taking care of it but we also want to make sure that everyone is unified doing it.”
Before the Flood was a deliberate choice as the first film in the series. The film was released in October of this past year and offers a very current and relevant account of climate change.
“Actually seeing what’s happening could change how people perceive things, and that’s important to fully understanding the situation,” said Eyong.
This concept extends through the group’s other projects, including Project Clean Plate, where group members collect uneaten food scraps in bins to demonstrate excessive food waste.
The project also includes an information campaign, to educate the public on the broader impacts of food waste both in the community and across the country and the world.
Beyond Project Clean Plate, the group is currently developing a series of events for Earth Day to go on throughout that week.
This includes a special additional film screening, lectures, and community events in which the group hopes to incorporate organizations both on and off campus.
The Green Navigators meet weekly in Liberal Arts 119 on Tuesdays at 6 p.m, but are looking to push that to 6:30 p.m.
Before the Flood can be viewed for free by anyone with the National Geographic Channel on demand, and more information can be found at their website.