Our Community, Our Planet: Campus Earth Week 2022 Panel
Campus Earth Week Panel: Our Community, Our Planet
When it comes to the future of our planet, it’s not all doom and gloom. To find reasons to be hopeful, we don’t need to look far.
Join Office of Sustainability and Thompson Earth Systems Institute for the Campus Earth Week Panel to learn more about how community organizations, agencies, and people right here in Gainesville and the greater Alachua County area are working to find local solutions to looming environmental problems! Attendees will leave with concrete ways they can contribute to the betterment of our planet by getting involved.
The Campus Earth Week Panel: Our Community, Our Planet Event will take place on Tuesday, April 12th from 5:30pm-7:00pm in the Rion Ballroom in Reitz Union. This event is free and open to all UF students, faculty, and staff. No registration required!
Check out the incredible speakers at this year’s event!
- Melissa Desa – Working Food
Melissa is co-founder of Working Food, a non-profit organization based in Gainesville, Florida. Her background in wildlife and ecosystems has brought a depth of knowledge and understanding to her current non-profit work tackling food systems — specifically with a focus on seed stewardship and community engagement. She has 10 years of experience in non-profit start-up and management, community organizing, food systems, seed stewardship, gardening, farming, education, outreach, and youth programming.
Her primary focus and love is for stewarding seeds important to the Southeastern climate and building community through seeds in a way that is accessible and collaborative. Ten years ago it started from a small seed library and grew into a thriving community program providing classes, workshops, training, regional seed varieties, and collaborative work on seed system projects with regional and national partners. Her place-based seed work functions synergistically with a partner non-profit, Grow Hub, that provides meaningful opportunities for adults with disabilities through agricultural and horticultural work.
- NKwanda Jah – Several social and environmental organizations in the local area, such as the Cultural Arts Coalition Environmental Ambassador Program.
NKwanda Jah is the Executive Director of the Cultural Arts Coalition, a 42-year-old community-based organization that uses arts, sciences, youth, and intergenerational programming to address relevant issues confronting our community.
- Marianne Schmink – Community Weatherization Coalition
Marianne Schmink is a UF Professor Emerita of Latin American Studies and Anthropology, and a founding member of the Community Weatherization Coalition (CWC), where she is an active volunteer since 2008, and President of the Advisory Board.
- Brent Fannin – Keepers of the Springs
Despite having lived all over the US, Brent believes Florida has some of the best natural places of any state and loves every moment he spends outside. This passion, combined with ten years of environmental education experience, led him to create and lead the conservation nonprofit Keepers of the Springs. When he’s not working at the UF College of Journalism and Communications, Brent spends his time paddling Florida rivers, freediving in the springs, and trekking through remote parts of the Everglades.
This year’s panel will be moderated by the Office of Sustainability Director, Matthew Williams.
Learn more about the other events happening as part of UF Campus Earth Week!