Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sustainable Earth Community focus of conference March 30-31

Building a sustainable earth community will be the focus of the 5th annual “Breaking the Silence Conference” to be held at the Reardon Convention Center in downtown Kansas City, Kan., Friday and Saturday, March 30-31.

A community-based environmental gathering co-hosted by Kansas City Kansas Community College, the conference will explore what the American public should be educating each other as well as the youth, future leaders and voters.

David Oberbillig, an Einstein Fellow on loan to the U.S. Department of Energy, will give the keynote address at a noon luncheon on Saturday in the main ballroom of the Reardon Center at 520 Minnesota Ave. in downtown KCK.

Themes to be discussed at the two-day conference include concerns for Regional Waste Management and Move to Amend; Social Responsibility; the Beyond Coal Campaign; and Environmental Literacy.

The conference will also feature STEM Education, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineer and Math, four areas of study that are aggressively being taught in local schools and are designed to lead to future employment for the youth of the area.

“The objective is to share with parents, grandparents and the public at large the effort our academic institutions are using to prepare their students:” said Richard Mabion of “Breaking the Silence.”

Several members of the KCKCC faculty and staff will participate in the programs along with student volunteers.

The conference will open Friday evening with a workshop on deepening the understanding and practice of the creative power of non-violence for personal and social transformation, finding alternatives to passive inaction and countering violence with more violence. Ann Suellentrop will speak on “Physicians of Social Responsibility.”

Other speakers will include KU Prof. David Kingsley, Molly Postlewait, Mary Lindsay, Ben Kjelshu, Tyler Cain and Val Baul and will conclude with “We Got Entertainment Too!”

Saturday’s opening ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. followed by a youth panel, a roundtable on Waste Management and programs on “Strugglers Hill: A People, A Community, Growing a Future in Their Neighborhood;” and Project Learning Tree featuring Wyandotte and F.L. Schlagle high schools.

The afternoon will include sessions on the Beyond Coal Campaign; Robotics with The Black Family Technology; and Building an Alliance for New Careers in STEM and addresses by Mary Lindsay on “When EXXON ‘Speaks,’ Politicians Listen” and Lora McDonald of the Kansas City Crime Commission.


PHOTO: Dolores Daniels (left) and Doris Holleman (right) of the Kansas City Kansas Community College Child Care Center will be teaming with Kus’kari Womack and Richard Mabion of the “Breaking the Silence” planning committee as hosts of the 5th annual “Breaking the Silence” Conference to be held at the Jack Reardon Center Friday and Saturday. (KCKCC Photo by Alan Hoskins)