Rider will celebrate National Campus Sustainability Day on Wednesday, October 24, with a series of fun and informative events, highlighted by a keynote address by actor and activist Rosario Dawson, who displayed her musical talent in the film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical Rent.
Between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., visitors to the Cranberry’s Patio will be able to learn about recycling efforts and initiatives in Mercer County, see animals from the Mercer County Wildlife Center, paint festive pumpkins in anticipation of Halloween, trade unwanted clothing for a free, organically made Broncs Go Green T-shirt, sample locally made apple cider (bring your own mug!), and meet and discuss Rider’s environmental initiatives with student Eco-Reps and members of the Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee. In the case of inclement weather, these events will take place in the Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room.
Dawson, who also starred in such major motion pictures as Men in Black II, 25th Hour, The Zookeeper and Unstoppable, will speak on environmental issues, including the process of natural gas extraction known as “fracking,” as well as the importance of voting. She will present her address at 7 p.m. in the Cavalla Room. The event is free and open to the public.
“When a celebrity like Rosario Dawson comes to campus, she will attract people who may not have ever attended a speech about environmental issues,” said Melissa Greenberg, Rider’s sustainability coordination manager. “They may come because they like musical theater or action films, or perhaps because they can identify with her as a member of the Latin American community. Whatever the reason, I am excited that they will be exposed to environmental topics such as fracking. Coming from someone they admire, the audience may find themselves becoming more attuned to these topics and hopefully get more involved with environmental issues both at Rider and where we live.”
Though Dawson is neither a scientist nor politician by trade, she has lent her considerable star power to a number of causes about which she is well-studied and passionate. In 2004, she cofounded Voto Latino, a nonpartisan organization that works to promote an enfranchised America by harnessing the power of celebrity voices, the latest technology and American youth. Dawson serves on the board of directors for V-Day and Scenarios USA, and has also lent her support to Amnesty International, Oxfam, the ONE Campaign, Global Cool, and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
First observed in 2002, National Campus Sustainability Day is a time for colleges and universities across the United States to consider past successes in the field of sustainability, while keeping an eye on the future of initiatives. This is the fifth time Rider has participated in the national event.
For more information, contact Melissa Greenberg, Rider’s sustainability coordination manager, at 609-896-5000 x7559, or firstname.lastname@example.org.