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March 30, 2023

SVSU to host climate change and civic engagement experts for lecture and fireside chat

portrait images of man and woman side by side

Saginaw Valley State University will host climate control advocates Bill McKibben and Angela Ardis for an informative presentation on the impact of climate change and the steps ordinary people can take to alleviate it. 

“Diversity Brings Strength to Climate Action” will include a lecture by McKibben and Ardis, followed by a fireside chat facilitated by SVSU student Emma Abedrado, an environmental science major from Saginaw and president of SVSU’s Climate Stick Club student organization, and Pat Race, an environmentalist from Bay City and developer of the climate stick. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Tuesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. in SVSU’s Curtiss Hall banquet rooms.  

“This program is a way for us to help spread climate change awareness to the public,” Abedrabo said. “It is impossible to fix a problem if you are not aware of the problem in the first place, and harder yet if we are not a united front. We hope that this program will inspire everyone to use our differences as leverage to unite against our common enemy of climate change.”  

A pioneer in advocating for climate control, McKibben’s 1989 book “The End of Nature” is considered the first book about climate change designed for a general audience. It has been published in 24 languages. McKibben founded Third Act to organize people over the age of 60 for action on climate and justice. He also helped found, the first global grassroots climate campaign, which has organized protests for climate action on every continent. 

McKibben serves as the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont, and as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has won the Gandhi Peace Prize, as well as honorary degrees from 20 colleges and universities. McKibben was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the alternative Nobel, in the Swedish Parliament. Foreign Policy named him to its inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers. 

Ardis, a Michigan native, is the Michigan State director for NextGen America, the leader in youth voting and civic engagement in the United States. In the 2022 midterm elections, Angela led a team that contacted more than 10,000 young voters in the two months leading up to the election and worked on campuses across the state. 

The Climate Stick Club at SVSU is a registered student organization that is dedicated to end the burning of carbon through education and advocacy. It takes its name and mission from the Climate Stick Project, established by Bay City environmentalist Pat Race, who also created the climate stick as a teaching tool to illustrate the impact of burning carbon.    

The “Diversity Brings Strength for Climate Action” program is supported by the Dow Visiting Scholars and Artists series at SVSU, which was established by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to enrich our region’s cultural and intellectual opportunities. The program is sponsored by SVSU’s Office of Diversity Programs, Academic Affairs and College of Science, Engineering and Technology.