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September 28 , 2007

                                                                               

University of the District of Columbia Hosts “Seeds of Change:” DC Earth Charter Community Summit

 

Washington, DC – In order to raise public awareness and encourage individual action on a set of values and principles for sustainable living and peace, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), in cooperation with the DC Earth Charter Group, will present the DC Earth Charter Community Summit October 9 – 13, 2007.  Consisting of a series of panel discussions, exhibits and a thought-provoking film festival, the Summit seeks to provide a stimulating educational forum for all citizens of the District of Columbia. 

            The goal of the Summit is to inspire, educate, and energize persons to implement the values and principles of the Earth Charter in their own lives, their local communities and around the world. Organizers seek to encourage individual and collaborative action toward environmental protection, social equity, broad economic opportunity, and a culture of peace. 
           
            One of the focal days of the summit is the second Saturday in October, a day when Summits are tied together with others around the country and in other nations by being held on the same day.  This is the third Earth Charter Community Summit co-sponsored by UDC.  The first was held in 2002 when the initial summits were conducted around the world with telecast hook-up.

In addition, as the Charter itself states: “We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must chooses its future …. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.”

            Sectioned into three different components, the DC Earth Charter Community Summit’s presentations will be held at various venues on the UDC campus.  Activities include:

 

Invited organizations include Earth Rights International, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Regent University, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Soka Gakkai International, Global Aid Network, Baha’i International, Mary’s Center for Child and Maternal Health, The People Before Profit Community Health Care Project.  A detailed schedule, speaker profiles and other information follows this release.

 

            The Summit is sponsored collaboratively by the DC Earth Charter Group led by the Earth Rights International Director Marie Soveroski, Regent University Department of Counseling Chairperson Dr. Benjamin B. Keyes, and peace activist Virginia Austin; Dr. Kathleen H. Dockett, Professor of Psychology, UDC Department of Psychology and Counseling; the UDC Buddhist Discussion Club; Psychology Students for Social Responsibility – UDC Chapter; and the UDC Art Program.

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            The University of the District of Columbia is the fully-accredited sole public source for accessible, inclusive, affordable, and comprehensive public higher education in the District of Columbia and provides additional life-long learning opportunities. The University delivers quality instruction and uses student-centered approaches to empower and benefit both individuals and its local communities.  The University, an urban land grant institution, is a very diverse community, a gateway to the world, and a significant investment engine for the District of Columbia.  The University is located at 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, and is conveniently located at the Van Ness/UDC stop on the Red Line of Metro.  For more information on other University activities, contact Mike Andrews, Senior Director for Communications and University Spokesperson at (202) 274-5685 or visit the University’s web site at www.udc.edu.   

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We Can Get There From Here: The 2007 DC Earth Charter Community Summit
The University of the District of Columbia  (UDC)
Building 41, Auditorium A-03
Saturday, October 13, 2007    10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

10:00 – 10:30 Continental Breakfast

10:30 Welcome 
Opening Song:  Earth Scouts
Dr. Bobby Austin – Vice-President, University Relations, UDC
Marie Soveroski - DC Earth Charter Group
Nelisa Ballosingh - Psychology Students for Social Responsibility, UDC Chapter
Daniela Oliveira – UDC Buddhist Discussion Club

10:45 Respect and Care for the Community of Life
            Video, Earth Charter
            Dr. Benjamin Keyes – Current Status of the Earth Charter
Marie Soveroski -  Earth Rights International
Sonia Umanzor – Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care

11:45 Ecological Integrity
Poetry reading by Nelisa Bullosingh
Leanne Nurse - Environmental Protection Agency
Representative from Baha’i International

12:45 Lunch Break – (on your own)
Concurrent activity - Video, A Quiet Revolution (Description below)

The afternoon session will open with a live performance  by Luci Murphy, recent recipient of the 1st annual Paul Robeson Award for Peace and Justice, together with Pam Parker, singing “Mother’s Day” by Peter Jones.

1:30 Social and Economic Justice
Dr. Edgar Cahn – The David A. Clarke School of Law 
Dr. Julie Carvalho - Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Devin Walker - People Before Profit Community Health Care Project

2:30 Democracy, Non-Violence, and Peace
Dr. Benjamin Keyes - Regent University/Global Aid Network
Dr. Diane Perlman – Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Tatsuaki Tomiyama – Soka Gakkai International - USA

3:30 Closing Song: Where We All Belong by Raffi

 

Speaker Biographies
Edgar Cahn, Ph.D., J.D., brings more than 40 years of knowledge and experience in successfully engaging people to create a more just world. With compelling eloquence and passionate conviction, he shares how Time Banking and Co-Production are sparking a movement (in the United States and 23 other nations) to help organizations work with those they serve to turn hopelessness to hope, despair to optimism and dependency to resiliency. As a Fulbright Scholar, speech writer to Bobby Kennedy, co-founder of the National Legal Services Program and the Antioch School of Law, founder of the international Time Banking movement, and author of No More Throw Away People and Priceless Money: Banking Time for Changing Times, Dr. Cahn offers a fresh, proven approach to social-change backed by a history of expertise.

Julie Carvalho, Ph.D., has worked for 50 years on social and economic justice – in government agencies and nonprofit groups, and with government contractors, advocacy groups, and universities. She has represented groups at the White House, U.N. Social Summit planning, giving testimony to legislative, executive, and judicial units, and on other occasions. She has edited three national publications, published hundreds of articles, and has taught courses in psychology, sociology, and communications at a dozen colleges and universities in the D.C. area. She chairs the action committee on the status of women for Psychologists for Social Responsibility, and has been listed in Who's Who in America.
 
Benjamin Keyes, Ph.D., Ed.D., is Program Director and Associate Professor for the School of Psychology and Counseling at Regent University’s Alexandria, VA campus, and an avid researcher, lecturer, and author in the areas of counseling and dissociative disorders. He is on the Board of Directors of Earth Charter US, and has facilitated Earth Charter discussion groups, and worked on fund-raising and steering committees. His focus for this Summit will be on how students can impact peaceful efforts to help those in crisis internationally, through a proposed Regent University grant, and how Earth Charter principles can be applied in classroom formats.

Diane Perlman, Ph.D., is a clinical and political psychologist. She is Co-chair, of the Committee on Global Violence and Security for the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and Violence of the American Psychological Association and for Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR). She was a PsySR Delegation Leader to, and presenter at, the 2005 UN Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, and has been involved with numerous global and environmental justice issues, including those related to the Earth Charter Summit, the Live Earth concert, Bioneers,  and the Green festival.

Leanne Smith Nurse is Program Analyst with the US Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Research & Development, staffing EPA’s Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability grants program (CNS).  Her recent EPA work helped pioneer EPA’s groundbreaking public involvement policy and collaborative problem solving initiative (including the Collaboration Practitioners’ Network).  She has worked as a Superfund community involvement coordinator, a public affairs specialist for water, public health, and environmental justice programs, and an agency liaison to the Green Group (top 30 US environmental groups). 

Marie Soveroski, L.L.M., J.D., is Managing Director of EarthRights International, an NGO which focuses the power of people and the power of law to remedy and prevent human rights and environmental abuses. Her focus and passion has been environmental law and protection, as well as human rights issues, which she has pursued both as a lawyer and as an activist. She earned her law degree at Gonzaga University School of Law as a Thomas More Scholar, a scholarship program for persons pursuing a career in law in the public interest. She got her Masters in international law in Europe, where she lived and worked for 15 years, in the former Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Tommy Tomiyama, B.A., is a graduate student of the Institute for Conflict
Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and an intern at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy. His primary research interests focus on Conflict Prevention and religion's role in conflict. He worked this past Summer in Ramallah, Palestine as a researcher with the Panorama Center for Democratization and Capacity Building, and for the Ministry of Information of the Palestinian National Authority. Tomiyama is a regional leader of the Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist organization dedicated to peace, culture, and education.

Sonia Umanzor, L.N., Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Health.  Sonia is a Patient Advocate at Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Health, a comprehensive health care center that provides health care, education, and social services to the immigrant community.  Her more than 25 years of experience working with culturally diverse, disadvantaged, and special-need populations, includes 12 years with HIV-AIDS patients and families at La Clineca del Pueblo; 7 years as coordinator of a support group for women with HIV at La Clineca del Pueblo; and 2 years with elderly women with different kinds of needs at the Spanish Senior Center, Eofula. Mrs. Umanzor also is an advocate in the immigrant rights struggle. With all, her passion and joy is to share with them the spirit of enthusiasm, and to learn, cry, and dance together. “When I have someone in front of me, I give myself, my heart, my soul, in solidarity with them.”

Devin L. Walker is the Project Organizer for the People Before Profit Community Healthcare Project, a neighborhood-based outreach project modeled after and inspired by the Cuban health care system used to elevate and educate residents within a nine-block area in Northeast, DC.  Mr. Walker, who is  a founding member of the Pan-African Liberation Organization, and author of the book, An Appeal To the African Church In America: Beware of False Profit$,has dedicated his adult life toward the liberation and unification of Africa and her scattered children.  He is also the Social/Political Action Chairperson for the AME Zion Church Lay Council, Mid-Atlantic II Region, and works as part of the worldwide Pan-Africanist movement seeking revolutionary change.

 

What is the Earth Charter?
The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society.  As the Charter itself states: “We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must chooses its future. …. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.”

A Quiet Revolution
A Quiet Revolution, an award-winning educational film which introduces dramatic case studies of individuals in India, Kenya, and Slovakia, including 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya, who have taken action to address local environmental problems and created waves of change.

Local Area Shops Supporting the Summit
All Fired Up (features make your own ceramics)
Uptown Cleaners
Cleveland Park Valet
Cleveland Park Day Spa
Nail Avenue
Transcendence and Bliss (features unique cards and other small items)
Tenleytown Whole Foods Market
Embassy Cleaners
Subway Sandwich Shop near UDC
Potbelly Sandwich Shop near UDC
Gold's Gym near UDC
Starbucks near UDC

Earth Charter Summit Planning Committee – Ginny Austin (DC Earth Charter Group), Nelisa Ballosingh (Psychology Students for Social Responsible), Committee Coordinator Dr. Kathleen Dockett (UDC Department of Psychology and Counseling), Brian Douglas (Psychology Students for Social Responsible), Keva Fayson (Psychology Students for Social Responsible), Dr. Benjamin Keyes (DC Earth Charter Group), Melinda Montgomery (Psychology Students for Social Responsible), Daniela Oliveira (UDC Buddhist Discussion Club), Marie Soveroski (DC Earth Charter Group)

 

 

 

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            The University of the District of Columbia is the fully-accredited sole public source for accessible, inclusive, affordable, and comprehensive public higher education in the District of Columbia and provides additional life-long learning opportunities. The University delivers quality instruction and uses student-centered approaches to empower and benefit both individuals and its local communities.  The University, an urban land grant institution, is a very diverse community, a gateway to the world, and a significant investment engine for the District of Columbia.  The University is located at 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, and is conveniently located at the Van Ness/UDC stop on the Red Line of Metro.  For more information on other University activities, contact Mike Andrews, Senior Director for Communications and University Spokesperson at (202) 274-5685 or visit the University’s web site at www.udc.edu.