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2015 Newman Civic Fellow

2015 Newman Civic Fellow

Emily Thomas is the Newman Civic Fellow Award recipient from the University of Denver. Emily is a talented scholar who applies her academic learning to her passion for creating sustainable community change. This passion for social justice and sustainability is clear when she talks about her identity as a sustainable development activist. In her work on and off campus, Emily demonstrates her commitment to understanding the root causes of social inequalities, especially equitable access to healthy foods. She focuses on working with communities to seek long-term solutions. Emily has served as a coach through the university’s Public Achievement program, empowering youth to create the sustainable futures they desire. Emily also works with communities in many other capacities. For example, she is an assistant gardener for the DU-community Bridge Garden, a member of DU Rotaract, and a member of Students for Sustainable Food. She is also an elected member of the university-wide Sustainability Council and co-chair of that council’s food and mindful consumption committee. Through this sustainability work, Emily has been an integral team member in assisting the Bridge Garden in transitioning to a new space on campus and in securing DU’s commitment to the Real Food Challenge, committing to the purchase of 20 percent “real food” by the year 2020.

Newman Civic Fellow Award
Emily Thomas
Thursday, April 2, 2015


“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
----Viktor Frankl

From the podium situated at the front of the room to the tables set up in uniform rows to the individuals sitting in identical chairs, speckled throughout, this classroom could be any college classroom across the country.  The stories that emanated from this little, plain room...