KALAMAZOO–Eco-feminist and conservationist Dr. Vandana Shiva will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in ther Bernhard Center Ballroom as part of the 2009 Whitney Young Scholars Award Celebration at Western Michigan University. Admission is free for students and $5 for all others.
The annual event memorializes renowned social activist and civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr. and also honors WMU School of Social Work students who fit the ideals Young represented.
Shiva, a physicist, environmental activist and author, is respected in her native India and throughout the world as an expert in sustainability, especially in the areas of food and water. Her activism started in the 1970s when she joined the nonviolent Chipko movement, a group of women in the Himalayas who protected forests by hugging trees.
Since then, she has authored several publications, received numerous honors and awards, and established the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology and Navdanya, a movement to protect nature and people’s rights to knowledge, biodiversity, water and food.
Her stop at WMU will be one of only five such engagements on her U.S. speaking tour and is co-sponsored by the WMU School of Social Work, the Kalamazoo Peace Center, the Alliance for Socioeconomic Justice and the WMU Division of Minority Affairs, with primary funding from the WMU Student Activity Fund.
Students to be honored at the celebration are Sasha Acker and Allen Hearn, who will be awarded a certificate and monetary stipend as this year’s Whitney Young Scholarship recipients. They were recommended and evaluated by a committee of faculty and staff and selected based on their scholarship, community service, awards and recognitions, and leadership roles related to a social justice program, event or project. For more information, contact Dr. Donald Cooney, WMU associate professor of social work, at (269) 387-3190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.