(Palo Alto, Calif.) – Longtime activists Dolores Huerta and Luis Valdez, consumer rights activist Erin Brockovich, climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann and humanitarian chef José Andrés are the featured speakers in Peninsula Open Space Trust’s (POST) 2021 Wallace Stegner Lectures. Now in its 29th year, the series’ 2021 theme, “The Path Forward,” focuses on how we as a community can address the social and environmental issues confronting everyone today. All events will be held online.
The first event with Dolores Huerta in conversation with Luis Valdez is free to all. Access to the complete four-event online series is also available for $30. Advance registration for all lectures is at openspacetrust.org/lectures.
“We are thrilled to bring such a distinguished group of speakers to the Bay Area to share their insights on how we can make our interactions with the world more sustainable and more just,” said Walter T. Moore, president of POST. “The important work done by each of them demonstrates ways we can learn to live in harmony with nature and one another. They also encourage us to take action to ensure our planet can continue to provide for future generations.”
The series kicks off on January 26 with “Land and People,” a conversation between longtime activists and friends Dolores Huerta and Luis Valdez. Huerta is best known as co-founder, with César Chávez, of United Farm Workers. She has spent decades working to protect the civil rights of women and immigrant communities in California and beyond. Playwright, director and founder of El Teatro Campesino, Valdez has long been a voice for the Chicano community through his writings and theater productions, which are inspired by his involvement with Chávez, the United Farm Workers and the Chicano Movement. This conversation will reflect on their long histories in the Santa Clara Valley, their work toward social and environmental justice and their perspectives on relationships between history, land and people in California. José González, founder of Latino Outdoors, will facilitate the discussion. Community partners for this free event include Latino Outdoors, the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Puente.
The series continues on February 23 with world-renowned environmentalist and consumer rights activist Erin Brockovich. While working as a file clerk at a Los Angeles law firm in 1992, Brockovich uncovered documents that ultimately led to more than 600 residents of Hinkley, California filing a lawsuit against utility giant PG&E. Since then, Erin has worked on a host of environmental issues across the country. She has been involved in dozens of legal cases and campaigns over the past three decades, including a variety of groundwater contamination issues, oil and natural gas pollution, fracking and pharmaceuticals. During her talk, Erin will share inspiring stories of how bringing people together to address environmental issues can have an enormous impact.
On March 9, climate scientist and author Dr. Michael E. Mann will address how we move forward together on climate change. Dr. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the department of geosciences and the director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC). Dr. Mann is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, numerous op-eds and commentaries, and six books, including The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, due out this month.
The series concludes on April 6 with chef, restaurateur and humanitarian José Andrés. Andrés will appear in conversation with Bay Area food personality Jesse Ziff Cool to discuss his work as founder of World Central Kitchen, helping to feed those in need throughout the course of the pandemic. Andrés is a Michelin-starred, James Beard Award-winning Spanish-American chef, as well as the author of three cookbooks and the New York Times best-selling We Fed an Island, which describes how Andrés and his team cooked for thousands of hungry people in Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Andrés advocates for sustainability in the restaurant industry. His line of restaurants includes many that are focused on serving sustainably grown and harvested foods.
All lectures begin at 7 p.m. Pacific Time. The January 26 “Land and People” event with Dolores Huerta and Luis Valdez is free, and the public may register at www.openspacetrust.org/lectures. The entire series is also available as a package for $30. Advance registration is required for all events. All proceeds of the lecture series support POST’s work to protect open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all.
POST’s Wallace Stegner Lectures pay tribute to the conservation legacy of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Stanford University professor and ardent spokesman for the West’s wild places, Wallace Stegner. The series is supported by the Bill and Jean Lane Endowment, with additional support from José Andrés Erin Brockovich Dr. Michael E. Mann Sand Hill Global Advisers, One World, Malone Media, Alex and Lily Wang, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation, Pie Ranch and Embarcadero Media.
About the Peninsula Open Space Trust
POST protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. As a private nonprofit land trust, POST has been responsible for saving more than 80,000 acres since 1977. POST works with private landowners and public agencies to connect people and nature.
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 80,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more