The Eddy Initiative is under way at SUNY New Paltz

Visit The Eddy website.

An initiative for connecting, co-creating, learning, and teaching for students, faculty, staff, and community partners. 

This proposal was formulated collaboratively by many campus members.  

Our SUNY New Paltz community of students, faculty, and staff committed to sustainable and equitable change has grown substantially over the past seven years. We are driven by an awareness of the convergence of existential threats to future generations. We see the urgent need to tackle our rapidly mounting climate, environmental, social justice, and psychological challenges, which have been created by our current socio-economic system that perpetuates exploitation, exclusion, and consequent inequality. We are at an impasse. The systems that brought us here will not carry us into a thriving future.  

As a university community, we have the responsibility and are ready to interrogate the complicity of higher education in this system of social injustice and environmental destruction and to envision and embrace future-oriented and emergent ways of learning and teaching. The foundation of this curriculum must be anti-racist, care-driven, relational, restorative, and sustainability-focused.  

We understand that the success of the Eddy initiative relies upon connections, collaboration, and relationships with each other and the Earth. It must be flexible and have the ability to pivot to support the needs of the (campus) community as they shift in this dynamic process of transition. 

We seek to expand upon the community-building, research, learning, engagement, and action that has evolved on our campus through the work of the above-mentioned groups. As part of this reorientation, we seek to forge connections and collaborations not only across disciplines, but also with local and regional communities and organizations committed to a just transition, such as the Good Work Institute in Kingston and the Mohonk Preserve Research Center.  

We understand that strengthening the campus and local community is at the core of a resilient and sustainable future. We also recognize that our strategies and goals are closely aligned with the SUNY New Plan Strategic Plan, especially Essential Initiative I: Nurture Innovation and the Learning Environment and Essential Initiative II: Establish an Engaged Living and Learning Community. In addition, the Eddy initiative will directly support our institutional priorities and goals as it will Nurture a learning environment founded on critical thinking, creativity, and the growth and sharing of knowledge, Cultivate sustainability in all its forms, including institutional, social, economic, and environmental sustainability, Forge community and enhance our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and Increase accessibility of undergraduate and graduate education in the region. 

We envision the Eddy initiative as an integrative space (virtual, for now) in which an emergent paradigm based on radical care, as opposed to harm, is brought into being through transdisciplinary exploration, dialogue, and action. Our goal is to develop an emergent model for innovative education grounded in radically sustainable and equitable practices.