Environmental and social activist Nikki Jones spoke with around 50 Upper School (US) students from several science classes about the effects of the current global water crisis in an X block meeting on January 29.
Ms. Jones, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Social History from the University of North Carolina, Ashville, currently works as a Latin America Instructor for Where There Be Dragons (WTBD), a non-profit travel company for students that offers summer trips, study abroad, and gap year programs in 19 countries.
Ms. Jones gave the talk as part of the Global Speakers Series, a WTBD initiative to bring global issues to the classroom. She is sharing her presentation, titled “A Price on Rain: The Global Water Crisis and Community Resistance,” at schools across New England and the South throughout January and February.
During the hour-long presentation, Ms. Jones explained the current water crisis by comparing the high amount of clean, drinkable freshwater used to the limited amount available. Although water can never be destroyed, the amount of clean water used by the global population is either not reentering the water cycle at a quick enough rate to replenish the stock or is reentering it polluted, Ms. Jones explained.
She also identified places around the world that are fighting for access to clean water.
Advanced Biology student Henry Parente ’18 said he especially enjoyed Ms. Jones’ example about India, where people protested in the streets because of their limited supply of clean water.
“The connection between science and justice was very clear,” he said. “It was amazing to see people standing up and fighting for what they deserve as humans.”
Molly Carney ’18, who also takes Advanced Biology, said she enjoyed the talk as an informative presentation that shed light on a crisis that we don’t often think about.
“I wish more students could have gone because the issue of water scarcity is something everyone needs to understand,” Molly said.
US Science Teacher Stephanie Guilmet required her Advanced Biology and Chemical Biology students to attend, and said she felt learning about the current global situation was imperative for her students.
“It is important to understand what other countries—and even the United States—are going through,” she said. “We have a responsibility as citizens of this earth to provide potable water to everyone equally.”
US Science Teacher Karina Baum invited Ms. Jones to speak at the school after learning about Ms. Jones’ talk on the WTBD website. She said she hoped the presentation would push students to take action.
“I truly believe that listening to actual life stories is key to inspiring students to be engaged in solving current issues,” she said. “Presentations like Ms. Jones’ are the ones inspiring future leaders—BB&N students—to think beyond borders.”