IN FOCUS: Sustainability begins with Convocation
It’s almost time, once again, to gather as a campus community to celebrate the start of a new academic year and the return of faculty and students. This year’s fall Convocation is scheduled for Thursday, September 13 from 10 a.m. to noon, combining a welcome-to-the-term event with a major speaker.
Internationally acclaimed author, orator and activist, Winona LaDuke, was chosen as this year’s Cohen Keynote speaker based on the 2012-13 IN FOCUS theme, Sustainability. Her talk is titled Building a Green Economy: Indigenous Strategies for a Sustainable Future.
LaDuke is well known for her work on sustainable development, climate change and environmental justice in Native America. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch universities with advanced degrees in rural economic development, LaDuke has devoted her life to protecting the lands and the ways of Native communities. She is founder and co-director of Honor the Earth, a national advocacy group encouraging public support and funding for Native environmental groups. With Honor the Earth, she works nationally and internationally on issues of climate change, renewable energy, sustainable development, food systems and environmental justice.
After LaDuke’s speech, an all-campus lunch will be served. In keeping with the theme of sustainability, campus food service will provide biodegradable plates, cups, utensils and even trash bags. Food waste will be composted through a collaborative program with Rodale Press.
“The majority of our foods will come from local providers,” says Chef Mike Kostalis. “That includes meats from Hatfield Meats and produce from local farms. I strongly believe that we have to reduce our carbon footprint and do the right thing, as well as support local farmers and producers.”
A fireside chat is planned for that evening at the HUB. The intent of this event is to provide a comfortable and informal setting in which students and faculty can have a chance to meet and converse with LaDuke. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to join the circle.
In addition, the art department and art student Kelly Weaver ’13 have developed an exhibit and auction to coordinate with LaDuke’s visit and this year’s IN FOCUS theme. Artwork donated by Moravian students, faculty and alumni will be for sale, with all money raised going to the organization, Honor the Earth.
“We thought it would be fitting for the money raised through the auction to go to Honor the Earth,” says Weaver. “Our goal through this exhibit is to introduce people to Ms. LaDuke, her culture, and her organization.”
Artwork is being collected Friday, September 7 through Monday, September 10 at 4 p.m. Artwork can be in any medium and should be dropped off at the HUB.
A variety of thematic programming—including lectures, discussions, films and more—is planned around the topic of sustainability, beginning with LaDuke’s speech. For up-to-date information and scheduling throughout the year, visit the IN FOCUS website.