The University of Scranton Spring Events In recognition of Pope Francis’s call toward environmental sustainability, The University of Scranton’s Sustainability Office has chosen the theme “The People’s Planet, Climate Justice” for this spring’s Earth Day celebration. The theme of climate justice focuses on the merging of civil rights and climate change to draw attention to the effects of environmental changes on different communities. Many of the University’s offices and departments have come together to offer numerous educational events in honor of Earth Day and Scranton’s ongoing sustainability efforts. Events are open to the public, free of charge, unless otherwise indicated. This year’s Environmental Essay Contest is open to all area students in grades 5-12. The essay will revolve around the theme “The People’s Planet, Climate Justice.” Submissions will be accepted until April 3, and winners will be announced at the Evening of Environmental Science event on April 20. For more details, visit the contest webpage. World Water Day will be celebrated through an interactive event at the University’s DeNaples Center on March 22. Informative activities and displays will help raise awareness of water usage and its importance. March 22 will also start Plant Based Meals Week for University students, in which the positive impacts of eating green will be promoted at meals offered at the Fresh Food Company. Tonyehn Verkitus, executive director at Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, will discuss environmental factors and how disparities in communities jeopardize health and well-being at a Community-Based Learning talk on March 23. The talk begins at 11:45 a.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. On March 30, the film “The Seeds of Vandana Shiva” will be screened at the Moskovitz Theater of the DeNaples Center at 7:30 p.m. The film shows many successful changes made through environmental activism and caring for all people. Vandana Shiva is a wonderful example of a woman’s lifelong leadership and activism that has improved the lives of millions of people around the world. A very interesting, entertaining, and inspiring movie. On April 14, an Environmental Art Show address will be given by artist Stephanie Williams in the Heritage Room of the Weinberg Memorial Library, beginning at 4:30 p.m. William’s work includes pictures of nature, people, creatures, sounds and energies. The library will also host an Environmental Art Show featuring environmental art of members of the University community from April 14 to April 25 in the Heritage Room during library hours. On April 17, Nicole Negowetti, former clinical instructor at the Harvard Animal Law and Policy Clinic, will discuss her work concerning sustainable agricultural procedures. The talk, offered by the University’s Gail and Francis Slattery Center for Ignatian Humanities, begins at 5:30 p.m. at Brennan Hall, The Pearn Auditorium. The Earth Day Fair will take place the following day, April 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the atrium of the Loyola Science Center. The event will host University student displays as well as, displays from university departments, local non-profits and governmental offices, which will provide information about sustainable practices and products. The Evening of Environmental Science, set for April 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the atrium of the Loyola Science Center, will feature a display of essays received for the Earth Day Essay Contest, as well interactive environmental displays and activities. Awards for the Essay Contest will be presented at the event. Earth Day celebrations conclude with a three-hour kayaking trip on the Susquehanna River for students on May 6, hosted by the University’s Sustainability Office and the Society for Sustainability and Conservation. Visit The University of Scranton’s sustainability webpage for information about the University’s sustainability efforts and Earth Day events, or call the Office of Sustainability at 570-941-6267.