"What Can I Do To Fight Climate Change?"
One of the most powerful and important functions of art is to act as catalyst for important conversation. During the exhibition, One Planet. One Home, a juried exhibition confronting the environmental crisis @ Kehler Liddell Gallery, we produced a community discussion around climate change featuring a panel of experts, including:
- Chris Schweitzer, Program Director, New Haven Leon Sister City Project
- Diane Buxbaum, former EPA scientist & community activist
- Sven Pihl, founder and administrator at the CT Permaculture Guild
- Aaron Goode, Treasurer of the Greater New Haven Green Fund
- Clara Tolbert, food activist & member of the Green Team at Edgewood Park
The conversation was moderated by Semi Semi-Dikoko, and made possible in part with a Mayor's Community Arts Grant.
About Our Panelists:
Chris Schweitzer is the Director of New Haven Leon Sister City Project, an organization that promotes education and sustainable development in Nicaragua and New Haven. His previous work included community organizing, human rights, youth leadership development, public health, and homeless support.
Diane Buxbaum was an Environmental Scientist with the EPA from 1982–2014. During her tenure, she was particularly involved in risk assessment, enforcement, and compliance assistance, and was an EPA Gold and Silver Medal recipient. Formerly the Sierra Club's NYC Conservation Chair, she is currently a member of their Global Climate Change Task Force. Ms. Buxbaum is also a member of the Gowanus Canal Superfund Community Advisory Committee; Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus; and 350Blkyn.org. She holds a BA in Zoology from UCLA, a Masters in Environmental Health Science from Hunter College, Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and has completed doctoral studies in field ecology at Fordham University.
Clara Tolbert was born in 1944 on a small, family-owned dairy farm in Camp Hill, Alabama. She has lived in the Westville neighborhood of New Haven for the past two and a half years. She is a community gardener, a green team volunteer at Edgewood Park, and an avid hiker. Ms. Tolbert attended the City College of New York, and is a retired case worker from the City of New York. She presently works part-time as a personal chef, and enjoys preparing and sharing real food with friends and family and caring for our good earth.
Aaron Goode is the Treasurer of the Greater New Haven Green Fund, an environmental foundation serving the New Haven area, whose mission is to promote environmental quality and equity in the most environmentally distressed communities within Greater New Haven by providing grants and other incentives to support initiatives contributing to reduced exposure to air, water, and land pollution and a more sustainable future. More information can be found here: Www.gnhgreenfund.org
Sven Pihl is the owner of CT Edible Ecosystems and Founder/Administrator of the CT Permaculture Guild. He is a Permaculture Designer/Teacher and got his start Urban Farming in New Britain. There he discovered Permaculture Design. Sven recently developed an Urban Farming Incubator Program in Hartford based on best practices collected from Incubator Farming entities and managers from around the Northeast. He served on the Board of CT NOFA, worked with the New Haven Food Policy Council, the Connecticut Food System Alliance, the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast (PINE), and was a representative for Connecticut at the 2015 New England Food Summit in Boston, MA which focused on Food Justice. Since 2008, Sven has accumulated over 15,000 hours of self directed learning through specific workshops, Landscape Design and Horticulture courses at local community colleges, training under world renowned Regenerative Agricultureand Permaculture Design Professionals and courses at the University of Missouri and Yale University, both in Agroforestry. His interests focus on empowerment projects that connect communities ecologically to their landscapes and food production systems. He has a special interest in working with specialty crops for ethnic communities, and working with/supporting Veterans like himself.
About Our Moderator:
Semi Semi-Dikoko is a Conceptual Artist and Principal at SSD International, (a Systems Architecture & Social Sculpture practice), who made Westville New Haven Connecticut, his base after living on four continents. His practice and artistic expression explore concepts, processes, and applications that benefit and heal his community, the disenfranchised, here and abroad, and self. An activist and social entrepreneur, he serves in various capacity, striving towards an equitable and sustainable outlook for the most vulnerable.