University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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March 5, 2004

Women's History Month Kicks Off at UW-RF
By Sarah Matara
UW-RF News Bureau

A former vice presidential candidate and distinguished Native American and environmental activist, a nationally renowned author, contemporary musicians, poets and a landscape architect. What do all of these names have in common? They make up the impressive list of speakers and topics for Women's History Month at UW-River Falls.

The theme of Women's History Month this year is "Women and the Environment." All events are free and open to the public.

Assistant journalism Professor Patricia Berg, a member of the women's studies committee, believes it's exciting to have the chance to think about the contributions women have made.

"This line-up of events gives us a breadth of the diversity within women's voices," Berg said.

The keynote speaker, Winona LaDuke, is a national figure recognized for her work with Native American and environmental issues, as well as a respected writer and former vice-presidential candidate.

Her speech, titled "Women, Politics and the Environment," will be held March 11 at 7 p.m. in the William Abbott Concert Hall of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. A reception will follow.

History Professor Betty Bergland, also a member of the women's studies committee, said LaDuke brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her speeches.

"She blends indigenous tradition and Western tradition in discussing our concerns for the environment," Bergland said.

LaDuke is the program director of Honor the Earth Fund, a national Native American directed organization that provides funding and advocacy for frontline Native environmental work.

She was Ralph Nader's vice-presidential running mate for the Green Party in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections.

She also is the publisher of "Indigenous Woman Magazine," a bi-annual journal focused on the issues of Native women.

LaDuke, an Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg, has worked for two decades on the land issues of the White Earth Reservation, including litigation, over land rights in the 1980s.

In 1994, she was nominated by "Time Magazine" as one of America's 50 most promising leaders under the age of 40.

Some of her written works include "Last Standing Woman," a work of fiction; "All Our Relations," a non-fiction work; and "Sugarbush," a book for children.

On March 25, "Not Foreverglades: Music and Poetry to Cherish the Earth" will feature original music and poetry performed by Phyllis Goldin and Wanda Brown of River Falls. The performance will take place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Chalmer Davee Library Breezeway.

Landscape architect Lynda Schneekloth of the School of Architecture and Planning-SUNY Buffalo will speak March 29, 6 -7 p.m. Room 200 of the Agricultural Science Building. Her presentation is titled "Placemaking: Transforming Places into Successful Living Environments."

Assistant sociology Professor Tricia Davis will lead a book discussion March 31 from 4-5 p.m. in the Chalmer Davee Library Breezeway. The book is "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver is the best-selling author of such works as "The Poisonwood Bible," "Pigs in Heaven" and "High Tide in Tucson."

A Kingsolver book display is featured in the Davee Library this month. A women and the environment display graces the Kleinpell Fine Arts Dean's display case.

For more information about Women's History Month events, contact Assistant geography Professor Marguerite Forest at 715/425-3264 or Davis at 715/425-3260.


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