man walking in front of homes destroyed on shore after Hurricane Sandy

Sigma Iota Rho hosts town hall on climate migration

SIR Town Hall, Spring 2021

On Thursday, April 22, Sigma Iota Rho, the Global Studies Honor Society, hosted their biannual Town Hall. This semester’s event was titled “Climate Migration: Where Will We Go?” The event explored how climate change and disasters have forced the migration of vulnerable populations, as well as the policy implications of climate migration. 

This semester’s Town Hall was hosted by Francesca Frkonja and Branden Rothenberg. They guided a panel of three experts on climate migration and migration policy: 

  • Dr. Gregory White—Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of Government and a member of the Environmental Science and Policy Program Committee at Smith College
  • Erol Yayboke—Deputy director and a senior fellow with the Project on Prosperity and Development (PPD) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
  • Dr. Robin Bronen—Senior research scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and co-founder and the executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice

The panelists engaged in conversations about the challenges that displaced peoples face when presented with a seemingly existential threat and an inadequate government response. The conversation was critical of the apathy among elected officials and voters towards climate issues. Our panelists employed anecdotes from Alaska to West Africa to illustrate the dire situation that we face. Fifty-two people attended the event live on Zoom Webinar.

 Watch the recording here