Thursday September 8, 2011

The Future of Food

The new University of Dayton Speaker Series kicks off with a visit from one of the world's leading food activists.

Vandana Shiva, a trained physicist and philosopher, is an advocate for third-world women and traditional farming practices. Her lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, in the Kennedy Union Ballroom is the first lecture in the new University of Dayton Speaker Series. The event is free and open to the public.

In 1982, Shiva founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology to address significant ecological and social issues in close partnership with local communities and social movements. In 1991, she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. And in 2004 she started Bija Vidyapeeth, an international college for sustainable living.

Shiva has published more than a half-dozen books on issues of gender, peace, ecology, sustainable development, water, genetic engineering, and bio-piracy. She has been honored with numerous international peace, justice, and environmental awards. She was recently named by Forbes as one of the seven most-influential women in the world, and she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

The University of Dayton Speaker Series is launching its inaugural season this fall, with a roster of diverse and distinguished scholars, activists and artists dedicated to a common theme: "Building Movements for Social Justice." The series evolved from a combination of the University's popular Diversity Lecture Series and the Distinguished Speaker Series.

"The series is envisioned as a catalyst for purposeful and critical discussion of contemporary issues through dynamic public presentations and related programming," said Sheila Hassell Hughes, English professor and chair of the University of Dayton Speaker Series.

This year's complete lineup has not yet been finalized. Confirmed speakers so far include Ottmar Edenhofer, deputy director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, on Oct. 26; and Ebony Utley, author, speaker and expert in pop culture, race and romantic relationships, on Jan. 17.

Co-sponsors for the series include the Dayton Daily News, WDTN-TV, WDAO-Radio, National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), YWCA Dayton, Ross Buick-GMC-Hummer and Markey's Audio Visual.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or