The Office of Sustainability (OoS) & the Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE) are pleased to announce the theme for this year’s Earth Month: “Mason Patriots for our Planet.” In addition, we’re partnering with EARTHDAY.ORG — the organization behind the global observance of Earth Day — for the second year in a row!

In April, the Mason Nation hosts many programs, events, and initiatives to celebrate Earth Month and exemplify our university’s commitment to a just and sustainable future for all. OoS and ISE are working together throughout Earth Month to encourage Mason Patriots to make an impact!

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The Next System and the Academy: Systemic Crises, Movements, and Change in the 2020s

April 21, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 7:20 pm


Our lives feel precarious. Many of us are anxious about the future. And our ability to respond effectively to the social, economic, political, climate, ecological, and human crises of these times is undermined by a widespread sense of crisis fatigue. Into this moment enters a new government in Washington that has promised to “Build Back Better.” But should we build back better only from what the last president called the “American carnage” of recent years, or must we also find ways to overcome the mounting crises of recent decades?

A rising tide of community-based movements and initiatives offer the possibility that from this period of systemic decay may emerge a next system that is more democratic, sustainable, and just.

Join us for a meaningful discussion among leading policymakers, innovators, community organizers, and academics working to prepare our society for a transition to a system that provides the best outcomes for all.


Major Panel

Academic Response Panel

Moderated by

A full biography of each speaker and the moderator is available on the event’s official webpage.

This is an Earth Week Event co-hosted by George Mason University’s Center for Social Science Research, Democratizing NOVA project, and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Co-sponsors include Mason’s Office of Sustainability; SIS Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL); Public Sociology Association; Graduate Student Sociological Association; Green Patriots; UndocuMason; and Movement Engaged Research Hub; as well as the UCSB Blum Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Democracy; UCSB Department of Asian American Studies; Center for Social Research at the University of Minnesota Duluth; Leadership for the Ecozoic; Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education; and also community-based supporters at the Democracy Collaborative; U.S. Solidarity Economy Network; Move to Amend; Liberty Tree Foundation; Cooperation Humboldt; Alliance for Democracy; Round Sky Solutions; and Warehouse Workers for Justice.



April 21, 2021
5:00 pm - 7:20 pm


Center for Social Science Research
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Democratizing NoVA project at George Mason University
Office of Sustainability

Inspired? We are, so come join us to make an impact at Mason.

Volunteer or intern with the Office of Sustainability’s Greenhouse & Gardens program to learn about sustainable food production, help decrease Mason’s environmental impact with the ‘Green Residence‘ program from Campus Efficiencies, enroll in a ‘Green Leaf‘ course or program, or earn grant funding from the Patriot Green Fund.

Connect with the Institute for a Sustainable Earth. Join students, staff, and faculty in 17 Rooms U, a new initiative jointly led by ISE & the Business for a Better World Center to engage and actualize the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) university-wide.

Fun fact: Mason was the first public institution in the state of Virginia to earn AASHE STARS Gold in 2014, and the Princeton Review, the Sierra Club, and others recognize our achievements. Read why we command their attention.

Join thousands of sustainability supporters and never miss out on everything you need to know by engaging with the Office of Sustainability @GreenGMU on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube, and the Institute for a Sustainable Earth @GeorgeMasonISE on Twitter. @ us to show us some love and use #GreenGMU to showcase your sustainable impact!

Questions, thoughts, ideas?

Chat us up about Earth Month: 

*Singing* Take me home (to the homepage, that is).