Dr. Vandana Shiva, internationally-renowned ecologist, activist and author, will deliver the commencement address at Sterling College’s 20th baccalaureate commencement ceremony on May 4, 2019. Dr. Shiva will also lead an all-day public workshop on May 5, through Sterling’s School of the New American Farmstead, exploring strategies for environmental and social justice.

“We are deeply honored to have Vandana Shiva serve as Sterling’s commencement speaker,” said President Matthew Derr. “Her work and vision

inspire so much of what we believe and do here. She has spent over four decades working in support of biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and sustainable agriculture, and is an example for our students of someone living a life devoted to environmental stewardship.”

A trained physicist, Dr. Shiva has an impressive international record of leadership in environmental, agricultural and social activism, earning her numerous honors over the years, including The Right Livelihood Award (known as “The Alternative Nobel Prize”), The Sydney Peace Prize, The Fukuoka Prize and the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize. She is also the author of over 20 books, and teaches and lectures all over the world.

“Ecology is a foundational component of a Sterling student’s educational experience, and Dr. Shiva’s research and activism informs our students’

work,” said Dr. Laura Spence, Dean of Academics. “Her visit will lend relevant and valuable perspective to our faculty, staff, students and community as her work intersects so significantly with Sterling's approach toward environmental stewardship.”

Named an environmental ‘hero’ by Time Magazine in 2003, Dr. Shiva is the founder & director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which led to the creation of Navdanya in India. Navdanya is a network of seed keepers and organic producers throughout India. Navdanya has helped set up 122 community seed banks across the country, trained over 900,000 farmers in seed sovereignty, food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture over the past two decades, and helped set up the largest direct marketing, fair trade organic network in the country. Navdanya has also established a School of the Seed / Earth University learning center on its biodiversity conservation and organic farm in northern India.

Sterling’s School of the New American Farmstead will be offering an all-day workshop on Sunday, May 5, with Dr. Shiva and Neha Singh titled “Strategies for Social & Environmental Justice: Insights from India.” The workshop will explore Navdanya’s impact across India, strategies for success for local and global justice initiatives, and steps toward a collaborative future.

“Sterling College and Navdanya have a shared passion for environmental wellbeing, community resiliency and social change,” Derr said. “This workshop will serve as a launching pad for further collaboration between our organizations. I look forward to the work we will do together to address the critical issues facing climate, our water, our soil, our sources of energy and the accompanying social conflicts and injustices that result in our degradation of the natural world.”

To register for this workshop, please visit:

https://sterlingcollege.edu/course/strategies-for-social-environmental-justice-insights-from-india/ (link is external)

Sterling’s commencement ceremony will be held at the College’s Houston House Gardens on Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. The College will also host an alumni reunion that weekend to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its baccalaureate program.

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