Video

From Earth Day to Climate Week: Environmental Activism Then and Now

Wednesday September 23, 2020 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Virtual Event

Join a round table of two former Penn activists (ca. 1970) and two current Penn activists along with two Penn Earth Day Project student researchers to think about the trajectory of environmental activism at Penn. To what extent has environmental activism succeeded or failed to connect environmental, social and racial justice agendas in a lasting way? Has the institutional response to environmental activism remained constant or changed? How has public perception and response to student activism affected movements in the past and present? This roundtable is hosted by the Penn Earth Day Project, an undergraduate research group directed by Professor Anne Berg, which is exploring the meaning and legacy of the first Earth Day (Week) at Penn in April 1970. Click here to learn more. 

Speakers

Ira Harkavy

Ira Harkavy

Associate Vice President and Founding Director Netter Center for Community Partnerships

Ira Harkavy (C’70, GR’79) is Associate Vice President and founding Director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania. As Director of the Netter Center since 1992, Harkavy has helped to develop academically based community service courses and participatory action research projects that involve creating university-community partnerships and university-assisted community schools in Penn's local community of West Philadelphia. Harkavy teaches in history, urban studies, and Africana studies, as well as in the Graduate School of Education. Among his recent books is Knowledge for Social Change: Bacon, Dewey, and the Revolutionary Transformation of Research Universities in the Twenty-First Century, which he co-authored with other Penn colleagues.

Dorian Dale

Dorian Dale

Director of Sustainability & Chief Recovery Officer Suffolk County, New York

As an undergraduate in the College (C '72), Dorian Dale served as one of the directors for the first Earth Day [Week] at the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2012, he has been the Suffolk County, NY Director of Sustainability and Chief Recovery Officer. He oversaw the extended recovery and mitigation effort in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and the face of sea-level rise. He is a principle collaborator in the County's major initiative, Reclaim Our Waters, to redress the 74% of wastewater that has been going untreated. For pioneering Property Assessed Clean Energy [PACE] in the Long Island Green Homes program, he was named the 8th Distinguished Citi Fellow at the Stern School of Business [NYU] and just received the inaugural PACEsetter Award. 

Eva Karlen

Eva Karlen

Earth Day Project Student Researcher College of Arts and Sciences

Eva Karlen is a lifelong Philadelphia resident and a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying labor history, environmental history, and political ecology. She has been a member of Fossil Free Penn since her freshman year and is a new member of Police Free Penn.

Leo Gearin

Leo Gearin

Earth Day Project Student Researcher College of Arts and Sciences

Leo Gearin is a junior from Boston, MA studying history. For Leo, what began as an interest in war from a diplomatic perspective soon gave way to a fascination with cultural and environmental histories of war. Leo is a student researcher for the Penn Earth Day Project and has examined the relationship between anti-war and environmental activists and issues around the time of the first Earth Day in April 1970. 

Amanpreet Singh

Amanpreet Singh

Police Free Penn University of Pennsylvania

Amanpreet Singh (she/her) is in her final year as an undergraduate, majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, with a concentration in distributive justice, and minoring in English. She is affiliated with the Student Labor Action Project, the Coalition Against Fraternity Sexual Assault, and Police Free Penn. She is excited to explore how racial and social justice are necessary to environmental movements, and how Police Free Penn embodies these practices.

Elsa Potter

Elsa Wefes-Potter

Fossil Free Penn College of Arts and Sciences

Elsa Wefes-Potter (she/her) is in her final year of undergraduate study at Penn, majoring in physics and political science. Elsa is a coordinator with Fossil Free Penn, a student activist group organizing around climate justice on Penn's campus. Elsa is also involved with Police Free Penn and the Disorientation Guide. She is especially interested in energy sustainability and equality and how climate justice intersects with global political liberation movements.

Moderator

Anne Berg

Anne Berg

Assistant Professor Department of History, University of Pennsylvania

Anne Berg studies the histories of waste and recycling, film and cities, racism and genocide. Trained as a historian of modern Germany and Europe, Anne increasingly ventures into more global terrain. Her research proceeds along a number of parallel tracks, connected by a sustained interest in the visual, the spatial and the material. She has published articles on the history of waste in Nazi Germany, the United States and South Africa. Currently, Anne is working on a book project that examines the disturbing connections between waste management and genocide in the Third Reich, entitled Empire of Rags and Bones: Waste and War in Nazi Germany. At Penn, Anne teaches courses on the history of National Socialism, world history, environmental history and the history of garbage.