By: Jonathan Salas
The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education is pleased to report the success of the Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture that Winona LaDuke gave to a maxed out audience Friday evening, February 16, 2018 at Saint Michael and All Angels Church. With the Church being filled to capacity, Lecture-goers completely filled the church’s Sanctuary. Center Interim Director Neil Wilkinson gave a warm thank you to all in attendance. After introductions were complete, Neil welcomed and an educational and inspirational message by Rahahe’ti, also known as, David Web. Rahahe’ti is an Environmental Educator and a member of the Meherrin Indian Tribe. He gave his message in the tongue of the Meherrin Tribe, followed by an English translation. After Rahahe’ti’s message, Winona LaDuke began speaking. Audience members paid close attention to her Lecture. Winona LaDuke spoke of her tribal lands being overrun by “The Black Snake”. This “Black Snake”, referred by Winona LaDuke, is known as the Dakota Access Pipeline. Ms. LaDuke spoke of the horrors that have happened to her tribe’s land ever since the Pipeline had begun construction. Her speech was with cause, as the Pipeline can be stopped. Winona LaDuke spoke of the Sandpiper pipeline being brought to a standstill.
Donations from those who share a similar vision that the Center preaches and act upon allow the Center to continue. The Center engages in programs such as SAGE or Student Associates for a Greener Environment, which is a mini-grant program that pairs faculty mentors with students interested in pursuing research, civic, and education projects that center on sustainability. In addition to SAGE, the Center has actively enters into the surrounding communities to help those learn, as well as clean up, why we must be sustainable as a species.