Environmental advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lecture at WCSU
Riverkeeper chief prosecuting attorney to talk Sept. 30 on 'Our Environmental Destiny'

Image of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

DANBURY, CONN. — Environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an internationally renowned advocate for conservation of clean water resources in the Hudson River watershed and worldwide, will discuss “Our Environmental Destiny” in a lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, at Western Connecticut State University.

Kennedy, who was named as one of Time Magazine’s “Heroes of the Planet” in 1999 for his leadership role in the campaign by the Riverkeeper organization to restore and protect the Hudson River and its tributaries, will speak at 7 p.m. in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

Tickets for admission to the lecture, presented by the Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies at WCSU, will be $10; students with a valid WCSU ID will be admitted free. Tickets to attend the lecture and a VIP reception at 8:30 p.m. in Warner Hall will be $30, with a fee of $10 for students with WCSU ID. Tickets may be purchased online at www.wcsu.edu/tickets or by calling (203) 837-TIXX. Proceeds will benefit the Goodall Center’s Permaculture Garden Project, designed to provide students with first-hand experience in sustainable community gardening through design and planting of the first permaculture garden on the university’s Midtown campus.

Kennedy, who previously served as an assistant district attorney in New York City, has brought a series of successful legal actions in environmental protection cases as chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper and senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. As president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, he has shared his experience at Riverkeeper with more than 200 Waterkeeper organizations around the world that seek to focus grassroots citizen action campaigns on issues ranging from pollution to climate change that affect waterways and clean water resources. He was recognized by Rolling Stone in 2009 in the magazine’s honor roll of “100 Agents of Change.”

Kennedy is credited with helping to build consensus among stakeholders as a participant in the negotiations that produced the historic 1997 agreement among New York City and other municipalities, New York State, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and regional environmental groups including Riverkeeper to establish a continuing framework for protection of the Hudson River watershed. He has provided counsel on environmental issues across the United States and the Americas, and has assisted indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in negotiating treaties to protect their traditional homelands. He also serves on the clean-technology investment team of VantagePoint Capital Partners and as environmental adviser to Napo Pharmaceuticals.

Recipient of a law degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in environmental law from Pace University, Kennedy is a professor of environmental law at the Pace University School of Law and co-director of the school’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. He is the author of the New York Times best-seller “Crimes Against Nature” and other works including “The Riverkeepers,” “Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr.: A Biography” and several children’s books. Co-host of the radio program “Ring of Fire,” he has written articles for The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire and numerous other publications, with selections from his works appearing in anthologies for best American political, science and crime writing.

Kennedy also was featured in the environmental documentary, “The Last Mountain,” an official selection for the Sundance 2011 festival that explored the struggle of local residents and environmental activists to prevent Massey Energy from using the practice of mountain top removal to mine Coal River Mountain in West Virginia.

Co-sponsors for Kennedy’s lecture are the Jane Goodall Center; the offices of the President, the Provost and the Dean of Arts and Sciences at WCSU; the Roots & Shoots Club; the Conflict Resolution Project; and the National Peace Academy.

In addition to the lecture, the Goodall Center will hold a “Farm-to-Table” dinner benefit for the Permaculture Garden Project at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13, in the Science Building garden on the WCSU Midtown campus. The dinner, at $100 per person, will feature foods from local farms and wines from local vineyards. Reservations should be sent by email no later than Aug. 30 to JaneGoodallCenterWCSU@wcsu.edu.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York.  Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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