11/18/2011 02:45 pm ET

Beyond Coal Campaign Reaches Campuses Nationwide (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)

Last month, students from colleges and universities across the country became a part of the Sierra Club's ongoing Beyond Coal campaign.

Student activism and campus protests were part of "100% Clean: 100 Actions for Clean Energy," a month-long call to action to raise awareness for the health and environmental impacts of coal-fired power plants. Since launching their Campuses Beyond Coal campaign, 16 schools have "committed to retiring their coal-fired plants on campus," according to a Sierra Club press release.

Members of the Sierra Club's Sierra Student Coalition recently had the chance to meet with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Politico reports that she told the student leaders, "We're not going to use the current economic crisis to roll back the health and safety people have come to rely on for a decade. It would be tragic if we took one step forward, and we end up taking four or five steps back."

This past fall, a group of breakdancers performed around New York City to raise awareness for the Beyond Coal campaign.

Earlier this year, the American Lung Association released a report claiming "particle pollution from power plants" kills an estimated 13,000 people annually. The report stated that coal-fired plants "produce more hazardous air pollution in the U.S. than any other industrial pollution sources."

For more information about the Sierra Club's Campuses Beyond Coal campaign, visit their website.

View the slideshow below of students around the country joining together for the Beyond Coal campaign:

Student Coal Activism