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SIU Green Fund winner announcement, environmental justice speaker

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Date(s) - 04/19/2023
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

SIU Student Center Ballrooms


The announcement of grant winners and thought-provoking speakers will be featured at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Green Fund Award Ceremony from noon to 4 p.m. on April 19.

The event, with the theme “We are All Connected – Celebrating Earth Month,” will take place in the Student Center’s Renaissance Room. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The keynote speaker is Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru, an environmental justice warrior, Rhodes scholar and the founder of Black Girl Environmentalist. A first-generation American whose family hails from Kenya, she grew up gardening with her mother and grandmother and learned much about environmental stewardship. Her commitment became personal and solidified in a high school environmental science class where she learned how social justice and climate issues correlate.

Her presentation is set for 1 p.m.

There will be much happening during the ceremony, beginning with a welcome by Aimee Lemrise, sustainability director for SIU, at noon. Justin Harrell, senior engineer on campus, will then speak about ongoing and future sustainability initiatives.

At 2 p.m., the winners of the 2023 Green Fund Awards will be announced. The announcement comes just a few days before the national Earth Day on April 22.

More than $2.3 million has been awarded already for 225 diverse sustainability projects and that commitment will be proven again with the announcement of the newest grant recipients. The funding for the grants comes from a student Green Fee of about $10 per semester, adopted in 2009 as the result of a student-led initiative.

The afternoon wraps up with time for questions and answers and a social. Refreshments will be served.

SIU is also celebrating Earth Month throughout April in conjunction with the Carbondale community.

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