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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Center to Host Annual Lecture and Fundraiser on Sanibel Island

FORT MYERS, FL - The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education at Florida Gulf Coast University hosts its annual fundraiser and Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture on Sanibel Island during the weekend of April 1. The lecture takes place at Saint Michael and All Angels Church, 2304 Periwinkle Way on Friday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. The fundraiser will be held at Peter and Mallory Haffenreffer’s home on Sanibel from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 2. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The topic of the lecture is "The Africa You Don't Know: A Women's Perspective." The event will feature two prominent women scholars. Akpezi Ogbuigwe of Nigeria, global head of Environmental Education and Training for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Heila Lotz-Sisitka of South Africa, Chair of Environmental Education and Sustainability at Rhodes University, will both be sharing their unique perspectives.

Center director, Peter Blaze Corcoran, decided to focus the 2011 lecture on Africa after listening to the inspirational words of Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Corcoran has worked with Maathai since 2000 and is an advisor to the newly-established Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at the University of Nairobi. The Center is also active in higher education projects in Africa such as the Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in Africa (MESA) Universities Partnership, a UNEP project aimed at implementing the objectives of the decade in and through Universities in Africa.

"The Center will make Africa the focus of this year's lecture because we want to provide Southwest Florida with a story of hope and possibility in Africa," Corcoran said.

Africa is often viewed as a continent plagued by political turmoil, corruption, poverty, and environmental degradation. The lecture will attempt to reveal a side of Africa that is generally neglected as well as discuss overlooked efforts to promote sustainability on the continent.

For further information, contact the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education at (239) 590-7025 or visit, or the Center's editorial assistant Michael Verdi at (856) 404-4160 or

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