Xavier Speakers to Address U.S. Transition Town Movement

October 13, 2010

Michael Brownlee and Karen Lanphear will address “Transition Towns—Inspiring Pathways to Community Resilience” on Sunday, November 7 at 7:00 pm at the Schiff Conference Center in Xavier’s Cintas Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The Transition Movement recognizes the problems communities face as cheap and plentiful oil becomes limited, climate change continues and economic crises unfold. Transition Towns are led by grass-roots organizers who seek to reduce their community’s carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels leading to a more enjoyable, resilient and self-reliant existence. Transition Towns use the collective creativity and cooperation of the entire community to develop practical solutions and plan ahead for a healthy, bright and sustainable future. Originating in the United Kingdom, it grew to the United States where Brownlee and Lanphear have become leaders in the movement.
Michaell Brownlee is co-founder of Transition Colorado, formerly Transition Boulder County, which was the first officially recognized Transition Initiative in North America. He is also a founding member of the Boulder County Food and Agricultural Policy Council and a board member of Transition U.S.
Karen Lanphear. EdD, is a co-founder of the Sandpoint Transition Initiative, in Sandpoint, Idaho. Sandpoint was the second recognized Transition Initiative behind Boulder. She has co-authored several travel books and been active in setting up educational systems including helping design a community college system in the Middle East.
The purpose of the Ethics/Religion and Society program is to encourage ethical and/or religious analysis of socially significant issues. For 2010-2011, the focus is “Green Urbanism” under the general three-year theme of “Ecology and Sustainability.” Speakers will offer reflections on various issues associated with sustaining human life through food production. The lecture series is only a part of the Ethics/Religion and Society (E/RS) program, whose excellence has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), one of the nation’s most prestigious organizations. The NEH awarded the program a challenge grant of $400,000, requiring the University to raise an additional $1.6 million in order to establish an endowed chair, purchase library and computer resources, support a lecture series and provide continuing education opportunities for faculty.