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Flint, Mich. pastor and activist among Earth Week speakers and activities


GREENVILLE, Pa.—From the worldwide battle for access to clean water to the Flint, Mich. crisis, water issues are the focus of Thiel College’s 18th annual Earth Week celebration April 5-7. All events are free and open to the public. This year’s theme is “Water Justice and the Earth’s Future.”

Water activist Mark Dubois will speak on April 5 about “Rivers/Water: Past, Present, Future.” The Rev. Alfred Harris—pastor of Saints of God Church and president of Concerned Pastors for Social Action in Flint—caps the week’s events on April 7 with his presentation “Water Justice in Flint, Michigan” followed by a question-and-answer period.

Other events include a presentation for elementary school students, a screening of the award-winning documentary “Blue Gold: World Water Wars” and a ceremonial tree planting.

Event Schedule

  • A workshop for elementary school children featuring activities conducted by Carnegie Science Center personnel and Thiel College students.
    9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, Beeghly Gym
  • Mark Dubois, the co-founder of Friends of the River and the International Rivers Network, discusses “Rivers/Water: Past, Present, Future.” In 1979, Dubois captured national headlines when he chained himself to the bedrock of the Stanislaus River Canyon (Calif.) as a new reservoir filled. While his action forced only a temporary reprieve for the Stanislaus, the growing movement to protect rivers brought a halt to major dam building in the United States. Dubois was the international coordinator for Earth Day 1990 and 2000.
    7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, Bly Hall, Academic Center (AC) 
  • The documentary “Blue Gold: World Water Wars,” follows numerous worldwide examples of people fighting for their basic right to water.
    7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, Bly Hall, AC
  • Thiel College students, faculty and staff will plant a tree to mark the week. Participants will gather at the east entrance of the HMSC.
    Noon Thursday, April 7, HMSC
  • The Rev. Alfred Harris leads a group that advocates for Flint residents amid the city’s ongoing water crisis. He has been one of the major voices making the case for an urgent response to the devastating situation in Flint. He will discuss “Water Justice for Flint, Michigan” and then answer questions from the audience.
    7 p.m. Thursday, April 7, Bly Hall, AC

The Global Institute of Thiel College, in partnership with the Office of Student Life, sponsors Earth Week at Thiel College.

For more information, contact the co-directors of the Global Institute at Thiel College. Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Department Chair Anna Reinsel, Ph.D., can be reached at (724) 589-2821. Associate Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair Christopher Stanisky, Ph.D., can be reached at (724) 589-2132.

About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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