Monday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. — POULTNEY — Two prominent leaders of social change will deliver public programs next month during their graduate program residencies at Green Mountain College. Renowned Vermont author and activist Bill McKibben speaks on Monday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in the College’s Ackley Auditorium. His talk “Imagining World Communities” will address ways in which humans are reassessing traditional approaches to providing food, energy, transportation and governance in response to rapid environmental and economic changes. The following evening, author and food activist Natasha Bowens presents “The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming” at 7 p.m. in the Gorge in Withey Hall. Both programs are free and open to the public.
McKibben, who will be on campus to meet with members of the College’s very first Master of Science in Resilient and Sustainable Communities (MMRSC) program during the residency period Feb. 14-17, is the author of “The End of Nature,” regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. He is founder of 350.org, the first worldwide, grassroots climate change movement. The 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, McKibben was recognized as one of Foreign Policy magazine’s inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers.
Bowen is the scholar in residence for the College’s Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems program. She will meet with MSFS students during their residency Feb. 14-19. Bowen is a writer, activist and an urban farmer who believes food justice is central to many issues faced by minority and low-income communities. She left her job in youth advocacy in Washington D.C. to travel the country in search of organic and urban farms sprouting up in food-insecure communities (places where fresh local food can be expensive and hard to find). She blogs about her adventures, her farmer training and topics of race and class in the food movement at Brown Girl Farming. She is the author of the forthcoming book “The Color of Food.”
The MSFS is the nation’s first distance-learning graduate program focused on sustainable food systems. The program’s first cohort graduated in December 2013. Students in the MRSC program adopt GMC’s bioregional approach to distance learning, in which students apply what they learn in each course to their local communities. Students learn about land-use planning, economic development, energy production, food systems, and resource management, while developing skills in leadership, group organization and conflict resolution.
Each residency offers annual opportunity for students in GMC graduate programs to interact with one another, faculty members, and the visiting scholar.