FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Love the Everglades Movement Summer Symposium to Advocate for the “Rights of the Water” August 22-23
Weekend of presentations, guest speakers, excursions, entertainment, art installations, prayers, and strategizing aims to raise awareness and spur action to preserve the River of Grass
Miami, FL – July 29, 2015 – The non-profit, volunteer organization Love the Everglades Movement implements strategies to address the environmental, structural, cultural and spiritual problems plaguing the Florida Everglades by raising awareness and organizing community engagement. On August 22, 2015 at the Miccosukee Resort & Convention Center (500 SW 177th Ave, Miami, FL 33194), and August 23, 2015 at Florida International University’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus (Graham Center, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199, room 150), the group will convene during the 2nd annual Summer Symposium.
“Protecting our natural resources is a concern for us all because the water is sacred and the water unites us,” says symposium organizer and Miccosukee community member Reverend Houston R. Cypress. “The Love the Everglades Movement is providing the community with a platform for education and action. Now we need the public to participate and be part of the solution.”
Guest speakers, PechaKucha presentations, physical and digital art displays, workshops and live entertainment will serve to educate and hopefully inspire the community to conserve South Florida’s greatest natural resource. Day one of the symposium runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the second floor ballroom of the convention center, with a catered lunch served courtesy of the symposium’s presenting sponsor, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.
Day two of the Summer Symposium 2015 will consist of an in-depth look at activist planning, strategies and tactics with environmental organizations with a common mission: to restore and preserve the Everglades. F.I.U.’s Global Indigenous Forum is the venue sponsor for day two, and is providing additional support. Attendees will have an opportunity to network with a diverse community of environmental advocates, and they will break up into groups to explore in detail regional environmental concerns with the goal of creating plans of action for making progress on these issues.
This year, the symposium’s goals are to:
- Articulate the moral imperatives that motivate action to restore the Everglades
- Engage various communities in environmental issues and actions
- Provide networking opportunities between individuals, communities, and organizations
- Provide information on environmental, political, social, and spiritual concerns regarding Everglades restoration, water contamination, land use, and indigenous rights.
“This is a great educational opportunity,” continues Cypress. “We encourage teachers, students, artists, community leaders, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested to attend. If you care about the Everglades, it is worth the effort to get involved.” Love the Everglades Movement is publishing all presentations and discussions through a variety of media platforms to contribute to the global discussion on Everglades and environmental matters. “We’re also very excited that people are stepping up to meet the challenge by offering their support. Agustina Woodgate is going to be bringing herRadio Espacio Estacion project to the event to broadcast it live via Internet radio.”
“As artists, we have to use all the tools available to us to get this work done,” explainsJean Sarmiento, co-founder of the Love the Everglades Movement. “We have to give the water the respect it deserves. I don’t care if you’re a diva, a gangster, if you’re RickRoss, if you’re black, white, green, or purple – it behooves us to reach out to as many people as possible and engage them in this necessary work.” To that end, the event organizers will be providing multilingual translation services in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Miccosukee, and American Sign Language. They are also providing community organizations with free booth space so they can get their message out to attendees.
“There’s going to be a lot of different examples of what people are doing,” says Dr. J. Michael Lemus, member of the Coordination Circle for Love the Everglades Movement. “We hope that by seeing all the ways people are doing this work, people will be inspired to do what they can to save the Everglades. It’s going to take all kinds of people doing so many things: art, policy, prayer, research. I’m so glad that we’re making this available to people that speak different languages. What an exciting time to get involved.”
The event is free and open to the public both days and all ages are welcome. Free table space is available for community organizations that would like to participate on Saturday, August 22. A special benefit concert is planned for Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Gramps in Wynwood; details are forthcoming.
For more information, including the full list of speakers, entertainment, activities and registration, visit www.lovetheeverglades.org/summer-symposium-2015.html or email Cypress at LoveTheEverglades@gmail.com.