Sandra Steingraber with arms crossed outdoors

Acclaimed biologist, author, cancer survivor, and anti-fracking advocate Sandra Steingraber will deliver the keynote address on the opening day of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change at the Whiteside Theatre on May 14, 2018. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the event begins at 7:00 p.m. Reserve your free tickets on Eventbrite.

About Sandra Steingraber

Sandra Steingraber is the author of the celebrated book Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment, which was the first book to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries. The book was adapted for the screen in 2010. Her other books include Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood and Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis.

Recognized as a two-way translator between scientists and activists and called “a poet with a knife” by Sojourner magazine, Steingraber has received many honors for her work as a science writer, including a Heinz Award in 2011. She donated the award’s cash prize to the anti-fracking movement, and in 2012 became the co-founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking, a statewide coalition of more than 280 grassroots organizations.

“We are all members of a great human orchestra,” says Steingraber, “and it is now time to play the Save the World Symphony. You do not have to play a solo, but you have to know what instrument you hold and find your place in the score.” 

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is a highly respected, international board that has heard cases of human rights injustices since the Vietnam War. They have conducted hearings in Bhopal, Chernobyl, and most recently Myanmar. From May 14 to 18 they will hold a session to determine if hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and subsequent climate change breach inalienable human rights and the rights of nature. 

Steingraber will share her first-hand experience of fracking and make connections between environmetnal and socail justice issues related to unconventional oil and gas extraction.

Opening Music and Sound Installation

Before Steingraber’s lecture, Jan Michael Looking Wolf and Dana Reason will perform an original song they composed for this event. An enrolled Kalapuya member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Jan Michael Looking Wolf is a world-renowned Native American flute player. His recordings have garnered more than 50 awards, and he is the winner of five Native American Music Awards. Dana Reason is a composer, musician, and sonic arts researcher whose albumns have been long-listed for Grammys in four categories.

We will also have a listening room at the Whiteside where you can immerse yourself in "Sonicities: Sounding Truth About Fracking" with original audio clips from musicians and sonic artists.

Grass Roots Books & Music will have Steingraber's books for sale, and she will be signing books after her lecture. 

This event is free and open to the public, though tickets are required to ensure space for all attendees. Please register on Eventbrite and present your ticket (printed or on a mobile device) at the door.

Living Downstream Documentary Screening

Two weeks before Steingraber’s keynote address, the Spring Creek Project and the Student Sustainability Initiative will host a screening of Living Downstream in the LaSells Stewart Center Construction & Engineering Hall (view the trailer for this film below). Living Downstream is the documentary based on Steingraber’s most celebrated book. The film follows Steingraber for a year as she embarks on two journeys: her private struggles with cancer and her public quest to bring attention to the urgent human rights issue of cancer prevention. Learn more about this event.