Mark Your Calendars: 2018 Women and the Environment Symposium!

January 25, 2018

Written by: Kim Buchholz

Come one, come all to the 2018 Women and the Environment Symposium! Interested in meeting those on the forefront of our local environmental movement? Want to connect with mentors or like-minded individuals? Craving some new, grassroots skill sets that you can add to your repertoire? The main events of the 2018 symposium will provide insights into environmental justice efforts in West Michigan and its national connections.

From the Symposium kick-off at Creston Brewery with a networking night, to the keynote speech by Peggy Shepard, executive director of WE ACT, at Grand Valley State University’s Loosemore Auditorium, each of the five events in the 8-day symposium is unique and meaningful, geared to bring participants a connected experience.

You might be thinking, “FIVE events?!” Let us explain. From 2012-2016, the Women and the Environment Symposium consisted of an action-packed, one-day extravaganza that included workshops, panel discussions and networking. We noticed, however, that this format was not accessible to many people so for the 2017 Symposium we decided to spread the events out over several days and times to allow us to provide a more diverse and accessible experience. By changing the format, we delivered amazing educational opportunities to many more people.

This year’s events are expected to bring an even wider audience. We have carefully curated each event to function both as a stand-alone experience and also build on each other for a complete experience that educates, activates and inspires. We will explore the relationship between gender issues and the environment, provide networking opportunities, support skill building in advocacy, raise awareness, celebrate local advocates, and be inspired by Peggy Shepard, our keynote speaker.

You won’t want to miss any of the events: on Monday, February 19, join the free Symposium kick-off party at Creston Brewery! Come and meet women and men in West Michigan who are already engaged in environmental and gender advocacy work or who would like to be. On Thursday, February 22, a $5 ticket will get you into the advocacy workshop at Trinity United Methodist Church where you will learn about top state environmental issues and how to advocate about the issues that speak to you. On Saturday, February 24, join us at a free Community Organization Service Fair at LincUp where you will have the opportunity to connect with representatives from local non-profit organizations that work on environmental and gender issues. On Sunday, February 25, continue your experience at the Aquinas College Donnelly Center with a film that explores the community activist Grace Lee Boggs. Learn and be inspired by her life and work in Detroit ($5 admission). And finally, on Tuesday, February 27, come celebrate the Women and the Environment Symposium with a finale featuring our Hidden Heroine award winners, keynote presenter Peggy Shepard, executive director of WE ACT, a NYC-based environmental justice nonprofit, and a final reception.

Additionally, each year we put out a call for nominations for Hidden Heroines. A Hidden Heroine is a woman who is in the trenches of environmental work, yet whose work is underappreciated and unrecognized. We will honor three women with an award prior to the keynote and reception. If you know a Hidden Heroine, please nominate her! The nomination form is located on the Women and Environment event page. You can also read more about the Hidden Heroine awards, as well as previous winners here.

Peggy Shepard, WE ACT for Environmental Justice

2018 Women and the Environment Symposium Schedule:
Women and Environment Networking Kick-off
DATE: Monday, February 19, 2018
TIME: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
VENUE: Creston Brewery, 1504 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
COST: Free to attend

Advocacy Workshop
DATE: Thursday, February 22, 2018
TIME: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
VENUE: Trinity United Methodist Church, 1100 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
COST: $5.00
TICKETS: Purchase tickets online at

Community Organization Service Fair*
DATE: Saturday, February 24, 2018
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
VENUE: Linc Up, 1167 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
COST: Free for attendees
*Organizations can register for space at this event at

Film: American Revolutionary – The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs
DATE: Sunday, February 25, 2018
TIME: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
VENUE: Donnelly Center at Aquinas College, 157 Woodward Ln SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
COST: $5.00
TICKET INFORMATION: Purchase tickets online at

Peggy Shepard Keynote Speaker and Awards Reception
DATE: Tuesday, February 27, 2018
TIME: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
VENUE: GVSU Downtown Campus, Richard M DeVos Center Loosemore Auditorium, 401 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI, 49504
COST: $20 WMEAC members/ $25 non-members/ Students free with ID
TICKET INFORMATION: Purchase tickets online at

You can find out more, and sign up for events at