Native American activist Winona LaDuke, an advocate for environmental, women's, and children's rights, will be the next speaker in the JHU Forums on Race in America series. Her talk, scheduled for Nov. 8 at Mason Hall auditorium, will focus on environmental racism and its ties to religion, culture, and identity in America.
The event begins at 7 p.m and will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception. LaDuke's talk will be shown live online on the JHU Ustream channel.
"Winona LaDuke stands as one of our most important voices, both on human rights and for imagining a future beyond fossil fuels," says N.D.B. Connolly, an associate professor in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences' Department of History and a member of the JHU Forums on Race in America steering committee. "She understands and articulates the connections between the geopolitics of oil, the science of oil harvesting, the history of displacement in the Great West, and the ongoing efforts for self-determination among indigenous people."
LaDuke is founder and co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network and founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, a reservation-based land acquisition, environmental advocacy, and cultural organization. She also co-founded Honor the Earth with Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the musical group the Indigo Girls to work primarily on environmental and energy policy issues. Honor the Earth supports smaller Native American organizations through re-granting for environmental projects and has organized annual tours, which now focus on horse rides to protest against pipelines.
LaDuke is the author of six books and has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. She has received the Reebok Human Rights Award, been named one of the "50 for the Future" by Time magazine, and been recognized along with Ray and Saliers as Ms. magazine's 1997 Woman of the Year. She is a two-time U.S. vice presidential candidate, having joined Ralph Nader on the Green Party ticket in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections.
The JHU Forums on Race in America series is in its third year of bringing guest speakers to campus to inform and expand an ongoing discussion about racial equity, divisions in society, and the toll of institutionalized racism. In September, White House reporter April Ryan kicked off the 2017-18 series.
"Equitable and inclusive practices across our classrooms, workplaces, and public spaces are informed by the JHU Forums on Race in America," says Fenimore Fisher, the university's chief diversity officer. "Providing the opportunity to have candid and current dialogue concerning our societal divides hopefully brings all of our communities together in the spirit of extending learning and unity. We are honored to have Winona LaDuke as a forum speaker."