The UC Board of Regents is meeting and TMT is on the agenda
Deadline to submit an email for the upcoming meeting is MONDAY SEPTEMBER 14 BY 10AM HT / 1PM PT / 4PM ET
Sample Email to UC Board of Regents
Copy/Paste and send this email to the regents with the subject line below. REMINDER: add your name at the bottom of the email
Have more time? Personalize the email and include a PICTURE in support of the protection of Mauna Kea!
*Subject line must identify the "specific agenda item being addressed; failure to do so could prevent delivery of your comments" *
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject Line: Written comments re Thirty-Meter Telescope - agenda item I3
TEMPLATE FOR Email to UC Board of Regents COPY AND PASTE
reminder to add your first and last name at the end of the email
Dear UC Board of Regents and President Drake,
I am writing to address UC’s continued investment in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea as it relates to agenda item I3, “UC Investments Activities Towards Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Sustainable investing.” I commend the UC Regents in their recent and bold stances taken towards advancing racial justice. However, the UC’s investments in the TMT project on Mauna Kea are in direct opposition both to the board’s recent stances on racial justice and to sustainable investing.
As a [describe yourself - connection to UC, Hawai‘i, or Indigenous rights issues], I care deeply about this issue. At the last Board of Regents meeting, the UC was informed that Mauna Kea is a conservation district for historic and ecological purposes. It is also a sacred place of worship for the Native Hawaiian people. The TMT project is currently proceeding without the free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous people of Hawai’i. The issue of consent and concern that the TMT Project will “restrict the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly [and] religious practice” has been raised by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racism in a letter presented to the Regents on January 22, 2020.
A clear indication of the TMT’s lack of consent can be seen in the strong majority opposition the project has received from Native Hawaiians. This is evidenced by months of protests and, most recently, by an independent study that found that 88% of Native Hawaiians oppose the construction of TMT on Mauna Kea as of 2019. Additionally, the project has facilitated an increase of systemic violence and racialized policing in Hawai’i, resulting in the arrests of 38 Native Hawaiian elders. Thousands of Native Hawaiians - the elderly and the young - have continually and peacefully blocked access to the construction site since July of 2019.
The UC’s investment in this development project would decimate 5 acres of conservation land that is home to endemic species found nowhere else on earth. It would also be a clear example of environmental racism and human rights violations that would cause serious harm to the UC’s international reputation.
TMT was supposed to be completed in 2020. With all the delays, the estimated cost of the project has already increased from $1.4 billion to $2.4 billion. TMT is not only a terrible investment for humanitarian and environmental reasons, but it is also an impractical and fiscally unsound investment with no guarantee of completion. This uncertainty is compounded by poor planning and incomplete information provided by TMT, strong opposition to this project in Hawai’i, and the master lease expiring in 2033. Now - during this global pandemic, racial unrest, and raging fires - is the best time for the UC to lead the way out of this project before you lose millions more dollars that will be impossible to recoup. Use that money towards something meaningful in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion - like taking care of the UC community and ensuring the well-being and retention of Native, Pacific Islander, Black, and minority students on campus.
Without the consent of the Native Hawaiian people or your students, the UC is currently using UC student money to finance a construction project that would cause permanent harm to the Native Hawaiian people. It is also moving forward with the destruction of land marked for historical preservation and ecological conservation. I demand that the UC Board of Regents continue its bold stances on racial justice, and immediately divest from the TMT Project.
I am writing to call on the UC Regents and President Drake to extend their commitment towards Racial Justice by ending the UC’s involvement in the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna a Wākea, immediately.
[First name, last name]
Add a photo of you protecting the Mauna or sign with #NoConsentNoTMT and #UCDivestTMT!