Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Compelling Stories

The nearby Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts offers lectures on some of the most compelling issues of today. Recent speakers include Mariane Pearl, French freelance journalist and widow of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl; Jonathan Kozol, award-winning author in education and urban issues; and U.S. Senator John Kerry, D-Massachusetts.  Here are two events that focus on sustainability and preventing genocide.

Owens Corning Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Frank O’Brien-Bernini (an MCLA grad) will present a lecture on Thursday, October 22 at 7 p.m. Owens Corning makes building materials and composite systems and solutions – and is known for the Pink Panther branding the company has been doing with its insulation.  O’Brien-Bernini’s contributions to sustainability, as well as his engaging depth and breadth on this subject, have made him a frequent guest speaker at major energy forums, global executive and industry conferences, and a regular media spokesperson on the topics of global sustainability, winning-with-green, and energy efficiency. He has addressed conferences organized by The Economist, Forbes, the American Wind Energy Association and The World Bank. He has also appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Planet Green program.

On November 5th at 7p.m., MCLA welcomes Paul Rusesabagina (pictured above) as a guest lecturer for its Public Policy series. Rusesabagina is the real-life hero of Hotel Rwanda who travels the world with his message of hope, peace, and “never again.”  Over a decade ago, as the country of Rwanda descended into madness, Rusesabagina made a promise to protect the family he loved – and ended up finding the courage to save over 1200 people. Over the course of 100 days, almost one million people were killed in Rwanda. Lauded by many, he is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award, and the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award. Rusesabagina, whose journey from hotel manager to humanitarian has been life-changing has said, “I’ve become a humanitarian and I never thought I would become one. And, as a humanitarian, I wanted to take this message on a wider scale, to raise awareness of what happened in my country so that the international community can help others who suffer now.”



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