Sustainability Week 2012 Focuses on 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring

September 7, 2012

Xavier University will celebrate Sustainability Week from September 26-October 8, 2012 with the theme Silent Spring at 50: The Prophetic Vision of Rachel Carson.

The week will feature Sandra Steingraber and Kauilani Lee honoring and remembering Rachel Carson. Carson was a woman of passion, gentle spirit, and rigorous intellect whose painstaking research and concern for public safety raised consciousness about the dangers of pesticides. She is best known for her 1962 book, Silent Spring.

Schedule for Sustainability Week 2012
Wednesday, September 26
Living Downstream, Kennedy Auditorium in CLC 412, 7pm: A movie based on featured guest Sandra Steingraber’s book. Trailer and questions at

Saturday September 29
Community Action Day, meet on Xavier Yard in front of Gallagher Student Center, 9 am-1:30 pm: Xavier’s largest community service event sponsored by the Center for Faith and Justice.

Monday, October 1
PBS Rachel Carson, 12-1 pm, Alter 110: Bring your lunch and watch PBS’s The American Experience: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring- featuring letters, books, archival interviews, clips from her TV debates with the chemical association scientists.

Tuesday, October 2
NEXUS Community Garden Showcase, 11 am-2 pm, outside Hoff Dining Hall. Come see the bounty of the season at our booth. NEXUS= Norwood Evanston Xavier Urban Sustainability.

Speakers Scott Burns and Matt McClish (XU MBA Alum) of Procter and Gamble’s Global Asset Recovery Program on “Sustainability”, Kennedy Auditorium in CLC 412, 5-6 pm: Sponsored by the MBA Net Impact Club. For more information, contact Prof. Rebecca Luce, or 513-745-4391.

Wednesday, October 3
Women’s Center Book Club 12:30- 2 pm, Women’s Center: Discussion of Silent Spring will be led by Tamika Odum and Ann Dougherty. Local foods snacks! Author Carson was accused of being a peace-nut and a fanatic, and … a woman. Talk about her writings.

Tour of Fernald Preserve, 2:15- 5:15 pm: Tour the restoration at the former Fernald Nuclear site and learn the politics of conservation. Van provided; reservations through Izola White at or 513-745-4286.

Sun Come Up, Kennedy Auditorium in CLC 412, 7pm: Award-winning documentary about the world’s first climate change refugees. Movie (40 minutes) will be followed by panel discussion on climate change and our community’s response to refugees. Sponsored by the Bellarmine Chapel and Catholic Climate Covenant; trailer at

Thursday, October 4
Sun Come Up, Fenwick Place Conference Room, 11:30 am: Award-winning documentary about the world’s first climate change refugees. Sponsored by Life After AFMIX and Catholic Climate Covenant; trailer at

A Sense of Wonder, Gallagher Student Center Theater, 7 pm: Actress Kaiulani Lee’s one-woman play based on the life and work of Rachel Carson, A Sense of Wonder, brings Carson’s prophetic vision to life. (reservations needed: free for students, $10 others, Cynthia Cummins at Xavier’s Brueggeman Center or 513-745-3922). Preview at

Friday, October 5
3 E Summit: Cincinnati’s business conference for Energy-Economy- Environment, Cintas Center, 8:30 am-4 pm: Separate tracks for small and large businesses packed with practical how-to info. Vendor booths show the wide range of the sustainability continuum. Register

PBS Rachel Carson, 12-1 pm, Alter 110: Bring your lunch and watch PBS’s The American Experience: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, featuring archival TV clips and interviews.

Saturday, October 6
Field tour on Ohio River with Thomas More College, approx. 1-4 pm: Tour river and plant research with asst. prof. of biology Shannon Gilbraith-Kent. Van provided; reservations Izola White at or 513-745-4286.

Sunday, October 7
Urban bike ride along Xavier- Zoo- UC route, 10 am - ?: Snacks and safety tips at each stop. BYO bike & helmet, see our neighborhoods’ flora and fauna. (No rain date.) Reserve space and receive a route map from Sam Meza at Xavier,

Sandra Steingraber lecture, Cintas Banquet Center, 7 pm: Biologist Sandra Steingraber’s work and books (Living Downstream and Raising Elijah) focus on the links between environmental toxins and cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities, and other ailments. She continues Rachel Carson’s prophetic tradition, empowering us to take greater responsibility for our personal, communal, and environmental health.

Monday, October 8
Sandra Steingraber at Xavier’s 4th annual Sustainability Day, Kennedy Auditorium at Conaton Learning Commons 412, 1:30-3 pm: Enjoy the Xavier tradition of Sustainability Day presentations by Fr. Graham and the sustainability committee, followed by Sandra Steingraber and her inspiring message.

In 2008, Xavier president Father Michael J. Graham, S.J. signed Xavier’s name to The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, whose goal is becoming “climate neutral.” The agreement has now been signed by over 650 presidents. Goals include developing a plan of action and regularly evaluating its results.

Sustainability Week is Co-sponsored by the Xavier University Sustainability Committee, Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, Center for Faith and Justice, Women’s Center, Mission & Identity, Biology Department, Theology Department, English Department, Xavier Chapter of the Youth Empowerment Network, and Bellarmine Parish.