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In Memoriam, Dr. Wangari Maathai
Sunday, Opening Keynote, Majora Carter
Sunday AASHE Student Summit Keynote, Bill McKibben
Monday Keynote, Dr. Tim White
Tuesday Keynote, Sandra Steingraber
Tuesday Parallel Plenary Speakers
Passing of a Leader
Wangari Maathai, 1940-2011
- 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate
- Founder, The Green Belt Movement
- Visiting Fellow at Yale University’s Global Institute for Sustainable Forestry
Please join us in celebrating the life of Wangari Maathai in light of the tragic news of her passing Monday, Sept. 26, 2011.
It was with great sadness that we learned this morning of the passing of Wangari Maathai. Her work in eradicating poverty, improving the environment, women’s rights, climate justice and fighting government corruption led to her recognition as a Nobel Laureate. Her writings, particularly her most recent book, Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World, demonstrated her leadership in weaving together the various strands of sustainability in to a whole life. She has been an inspiration internationally but especially in Africa and her home country of Kenya where millions of trees as well as people bear witness to her courage and dedication to a better world. We have lost a world leader. As we pause to hold dear our appreciation of this great person, we invite you to send your condolences to her organization and friends and family in Kenya and throughout the world as we mourn the loss of one of the world’s great sustainability advocates.
Sincerely, Paul Rowland, Executive Director, AASHE
Born in Nyeri, Kenya, East Africa in 1940, Dr. Maathai was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree, Dr. Maathai obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas, USA (1964), a Master of Science (M.S.) in Biological Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh, USA (1966), and pursued doctoral and Natural Resources in Kenya’s ninth parliament, a position she currently holds.
Wangari Maathai is internationally recognized for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation. She has addressed the United Nations on several occasions and spoke on behalf of women at special sessions of the General Assembly for the five-year review of the 1992 Earth Summit. She served on the Commission for Global Governance and the Commission on the Future. Over the years, she and the Green Belt Movement have received numerous awards, most notably the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.
In April 2006 Dr. Maathai, was honored as an Officer of the French Legion of Honor for her work on behalf of the environment and peace. The Légion d'Honneur, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, is France’s most prestigius honor. Past award recipients include environmentalist Dr. Jane Goodall, oceanographer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau, anti-Holocaust and human rights activist Elie Wiesel, and deaf and blind activist Helen Keller.
Others awards and honours include the Sophie Prize (2004), the Petra Kelly Prize for Environment (2004), the Conservation Scientist Award from Columbia University (2004), the J. Sterling Morton Award (2004), the WANGO Environment Award (2003), the Outstanding Vision and Commitment Award (2002), the Excellence Award from the Kenya Community Abroad (2001), the Golden Ark Award (1994), the Juliet Hollister Award (2001), the Jane Adams Leadership Award (1993), the Edinburgh Medal (1993), the UN’s Africa Prize for Leadership (1991), the Goldman Environmental Prize (1991), the Giraffe Hero Award for sticking her neck out (1990), the Windstar Award for the Environment (1988), the Better World Society Award (1986), the Right Livelihood Award (1984) and the Woman of the Year Award (1983). Prof. Maathai was also listed in the UN
Environment Program’s Global 500 Hall of Fame and in June 1997 she was named by the Earth Times as one of 100 people in the world that have made a difference in the environmental arena. Dr. Maathai has also received honorary doctoral degrees from several institutions around the world: Williams College, USA (1990), Hobart & William Smith Colleges, USA (1994), the University of Norway (1997) and most recently, Yale University, USA (2004).
Dr. Maathai’s most recent book, Replenishing the Earth is an impassioned call to heal the wounds of our planet and ourselves through the tenets of our spiritual traditions. Her memoir, Unbowed, shows that she is a magnificent and courageous leader who stood up for the oppressed, including the women of Kenya, and provided hope for better tomorrows by demonstrating that if a person possesses a will to make change, change can and will occur.
Dr. Maathai serves on the boards of several organizations, including the U.N. Secretary General’s Advisory
Board on Disarmament, the Jane Goodall Institute, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), World Learning for International Development, Green Cross International, Environment Liaison Centre International, and the National Council of Women of Kenya.
Sunday October 9, Opening Keynote, Majora Carter
Majora Carter hosts the Peabody Award winning public-radio series The Promised Land and has a long list of awards and honorary degrees, including a MacArthur Genius Fellowship. She’s the only person to receive an award from John Podesta’s Center For American Progress, and a Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement from Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. Fast Company Magazine named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business; The NY Times described her as “The Green Power Broker“; and the Ashoka Foundation’s Changemakers.org recently dubbed Majora Carter “The Prophet of Local”
Ms. Carter founded and led Sustainable South Bronx, from 2001 to 2008 when few were talking about sustainability in places like the Bronx. By 2003 Majora coined the term: “Green the Ghetto” as she pioneered one of the nation’s first urban green-collar job training & placement systems, and spearheaded legislation that fueled demand for those jobs. Majora’s 2006 TED talk was one of 6 presentations to launch that groundbreaking website.
Since 2008, her consulting company, MCG has exported Climate Adaptation, Urban Micro-AgriBusiness, and Leadership Development strategies for Business, Government, Foundations, Universities, and economically under-performing Communities.
Sunday, October 9, Student Summit Keynote
- Founder 350.org
- Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the
first book for a general audience on climate change. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, which has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009.
Time Magazine called him 'the planet's best green journalist' and the Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was 'probably the country's most important environmentalist.' Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, he holds honorary degrees from a dozen colleges, including the Universities of Massachusetts and Maine, the State University of New York, and Whittier and Colgate Colleges. In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Monday, October 10
Dr. Timothy White
- Chancellor, UC Riverside
- Past University of Idaho President
- Internationally recognized for his work in muscle plasticity, injury and aging
Timothy P. White, the eighth chancellor of UC Riverside, has seen the campus grow to more than 20,000 students for the first time in its history. Soon after his appointment, he formed a committee of 144 faculty, staff and community members to forge a strategic plan that will act as a guiding document for UCR’s next stage of development as a major player among first-rate research institutions. He has also implemented the foundation of a UCR School of Medicine by hiring the school’s first dean.
White came to UC Riverside in 2008 after serving as the University of Idaho's 16th president from 2004-2008. Through his leadership, the University of Idaho established a vision and strategic direction to further the University's role as the state's land-grant and flagship research university. Part of that plan entailed reinvesting resources in support of five key academic priorities: science and technology, liberal arts and sciences, entrepreneurial innovation, the environment, and sustainable design and lifestyle.
Prior to joining the University of Idaho, White served Oregon State University as provost and executive vice president, with an interim appointment as president. He previously held positions as professor and chair of the Department of Human Biodynamics at the University of California, Berkeley, and as professor and chair of the Department of Movement Science and research scientist in the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan.
White received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and spent two years as a post-doctoral scholar in physiology at the University of Michigan before starting his academic career at Ann Arbor. He is internationally recognized for his work in muscle plasticity, injury and aging.
Timothy White was born in Argentina. His parents immigrated to Canada and then to California when he was young. White is a first-generation college graduate. He is married to Karen White and has four sons.
Tuesday, October 11
Dr. Sandra Steingraber, General Session
- Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College
Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority on the environment links to cancer and human health.
Steingraber’s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment presents cancer as a human rights issue. Originally published in 1997, it was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries and won praise from international media including The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, The Lancet, and The London Times.
Released as a second edition in 2010, Living Downstream has been adapted for film by The People’s Picture Company of Toronto. This eloquent and cinematic documentary follows Steingraber during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links.
Continuing the investigation begun in Living Downstream, Steingraber’s book, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, explores the intimate ecology of motherhood. Both a memoir of her own pregnancy and an investigation of fetal toxicology, Having Faith reveals the extent to which environmental hazards now threaten each stage of infant development. In the eyes of an ecologist, the mother’s body is the first environment for life. The Library Journal selected Having Faith as a best book of 2001, and it was featured in a PBS documentary by Bill Moyers.
Called “a poet with a knife” by Sojourner magazine, Steingraber has received many honors for her work as a science writer. She was named a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year and later received the Jenifer Altman Foundation’s first annual Altman Award for “the inspiring and poetic use of science to elucidate the causes of cancer.” The Sierra Club has heralded Steingraber as “the new Rachel Carson,” and Carson’s own alma mater, Chatham College, selected Steingraber to receive its biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award. In 2006, Steingraber received a Hero Award from the Breast Cancer Fund and, in 2009, the Environmental Health Champion Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles.
An enthusiastic and sought-after public speaker, Steingraber has keynoted conferences on human health and the environment throughout the United States and Canada and has been invited to lecture at many universities, medical schools, and hospitals—including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and the Woods Hole Research Center. She is recognized for her ability to serve as a two-way translator between scientists and activists. She has testified in the European Parliament, before the President’s Cancer Panel, and has participated in briefings to Congress and before United Nations delegates in Geneva, Switzerland. Interviews with Steingraber have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, on National Public Radio, “The Today Show,” and “Good Morning America.”
A columnist for Orion magazine, Sandra Steingraber is currently a scholar in residence in Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. She is married to the artist Jeff de Castro, and they live in a 1000-square-foot house with a push mower, a clothesline, a vegetable garden, and two beloved children.