Women and Environment Symposium Registration is Now Open

W&E LogoGuest post by Madeline Boyd, WMEAC Women in Environment Intern

The time has come to register for the Third Annual Women and Environment Symposium! Registration is now open and several exciting things are already planned for this year’s programming.

For those who aren’t familiar, the Women and Environment Symposium is a one-day event that explores the intersection of women’s issues and environmental impacts. This year’s event will be held on February 7, 2014, at the Eberhard Center in downtown Grand Rapids. The symposium provides a great opportunity for networking and self-growth through workshops, keynote addresses, a luncheon, and a panel discussion, which bring together local leaders and stakeholders in the business, academic, and activist communities. There will also be a celebration of the women who have impacted the environment in West Michigan through the Women Environmental Honors, which honors local women from the past, present, and future for their work towards environmental justice. This event is for anyone looking to learn more about how the environment specifically affects women and wanting to be a part of a larger community for environmental justice and gender equality.

The workshops this year are centered on two themes: “Women & Children’s Health” and “Climate Change & Resiliency.” The Women & Children’s Health workshops explore the links between community development, environmental pollutants, and pervasive chemicals on women and children’s health, while the Climate Change & Resiliency workshops examine the impact of climate change in communities and human lives in order to discover pathways to organizing for climate resiliency. Both workshops will consist of a panel of local leaders on several different relevant subjects with a specific focus on how these issues affect West Michigan.

The Symposium also has the pleasure of featuring Sandra Steingraber as keynote speaker at this year’s event. Frequent readers may remember her from the blog post on pinkwashing, cancer, and the environment. Sandra is a celebrated ecologist, author, and environmental activist who examines the connection between human rights and environmental contamination. She has published several books on this subject, including Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment and Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in and Age of Environmental Crisis. She is also a guest columnist at The Huffington Post, where she eloquently writes on various issues of environmental justice. For more information on Sandra, visit her website.

The day’s events will conclude with a panel on Citizen Action & Political Efficacy. The panel includes citizens as well as elected officials who will discuss the topics of women influencing policy, how and why to run for office, and individual commitments to activism and political literacy. This panel will provide tools to turn the knowledge learned at the Symposium into personal and political action.

The Third Annual Women and Environment Symposium is sure to be the best yet, providing a diverse group of perspectives on environmental impacts in the West Michigan community. Those interested in attending the event can look to a few opportunities to do so. In addition to individual registration, just in time for the holiday season, WMEAC now provides the option to “Give the Gift of WMEAC,” just in time for the holiday season a package that includes a membership to WMEAC, tickets to each of the next 3 WMEAC Film Series Events, and a ticket to the Women and Environment Symposium – a package total of $125 – for the low price of $35 for students and $95 for adults! 

Sponsored tickets will also be provided to people who cannot afford to purchase them. For inquiries about sponsored tickets, contact WMEAC Communications Director Josh Leffingwell at (616)451-3051 ext. 28. The registration form also includes the option to sponsor tickets.

We hope to see you this February at the Women and Environment Symposium!

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