“It’s the burden of knowledge. Once you know, how can you not do something about it? With these films and discussions we are going to make it possible for people to be able do something,” said Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark of Chestnut Hill College and coordinator of the college’s Second Annual Film Festival, to be held March 14..
Open to the public, the festival will run from 8:30 am until 5:30 p.m. and feature films addressing the issues of energy usage, clean air, and our ecological footprint on the earth. After each film, audience members are encouraged to stay for a discussion led by local environmentalists and people directly involved with the pictures.
Among speakers will be Paco Verin from the Miquon School in Conshohocken, Logan Welde from the Clean Air Council of Philadelphia, and Gretchen Alfonso from Clean Air Force Pennsylvania. Clark hopes an open dialogue will foster awareness and encourage people to be proactive about the environment.
“Because these films aren’t mainstream, people haven’t been exposed to this information, and when it’s finished, the audience will have the a unique opportunity to talk to significant people who are directly connected to these issues and learn what they can do as neighbors to address them,” said Clark.
Clark runs the Earth Center on Chestnut Hill’s campus, where assisting others towards sustainability has been a top priority since the Sisters of St. Joseph founded the college in 1924.
Raising awareness is something Clark got a lot of experience when she spent seven years as a lobbyist for environmental matters in Washington. Now she leads the sustainability effort at Chestnut Hill College, but she isn’t the only one on campus involved. The school has a Sustainability Task Force consisting of around twenty students, faculty, and administration members committed to going green.
One of those students is Angela DuBeck who, together with Clark, was able get those around the college to donate 269 pairs of shoes to the organization ShoeBox Recycling which redistributes them around the world to those in need.
“People need awareness because they don’t really know what is going on. So I believe if we introduced them to the idea then they can then go out and make an impact,” said DuBeck.
“I want to put a psychology behind helping people make the conscious decision to go green,” said DuBeck, “I want give students an incentive to get involved.”
“The festival is great because it is an opportunity for the community come to the college and become educated about a topic we are really passionate about,” said Lisa Mixon, the college’s community relations manager.
The festival will be held in the East Parlor of St. Joseph Hall.