Earth Conference Nov. 4 to focus on climate crisis

Oct. 24—The Free Press

MANKATO — Issues surrounding the climate crisis is the topic of this year's Earth Conference on Nov. 4.

The conference, hosted by the Living Earth Center of Mankato, is called Bridging the Divide: Our Collective Role in Reconnecting People, Place, and Ecological Relationships.

It will focus on the multifaceted climate crisis with many ecological, agricultural and political divides.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Centennial Union Room 253 at Minnesota State University.

Keynote speaker Carolina Ortiz, of COPAL, will discuss bridging the divide in today's contentious atmosphere. COPAL is a nonprofit that leads social impact initiatives to improve the quality of life for Latin American people.

"There is hope and possibility when we look at progress that has already been made. Forging connections across divides is not only possible, it is necessary if we are to create a world where we all can thrive," she said in a statement.

Paul Ebbenga, of the Blue Earth Project, will discuss rallying local support for ecological efforts.

He founded the Blue Earth Project in 2019 after southern Minnesota lakes had been deemed "irreversibly unswimmable" by public officials. He set out to empower people to engage with local environmental challenges through innovative technology, community engagement and the advancement of education.

Mohamed Alsadig, of Mankato Diversity Council, will speak about his work with other local organizations and businesses to continue community efforts in establishing an inclusive, welcoming environment within the Greater Mankato area.

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, of Tree-Range Farms, will talk about his work for food systems change. He has worked to create space for small farmers and large businesses alike to work in alignment with the ecology of the land. Originally from Guatemala, he builds regenerative farming operations through an Indigenous framework of thought: "We are part of — not separate from — the land."

Kathryn Lozada, with ISAIAH, will discuss her work on organizing people of faith and shared values toward racial, economic and climate justice in Minnesota. She contributed to ISAIAH's victories at the last state legislative session, including 100% clean energy by 2040, paid family and medical leave and $1 billion for housing.

For more information and to register go to: