Former vice presidential candidate Winona LaDuke, a sustainability and women's rights activist and co-founder of Honor the Earth, will speak at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, in Sheldon Hall ballroom [NOTE: venue updated 3-23-17], as part of SUNY Oswego's I Am Oz Diversity Speaker Series.

The environmentalist will talk about Honor the Earth's work, including its opposition to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline being laid a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and running under the tribe's primary source of drinking water. In a wide-ranging talk, LaDuke also plans to take advantage of her talk's timing with Women's History Month to underscore the importance of women in leadership.

The "I Am Oz" series shines light on the ever-changing notion of community, incorporating aspects of diversity among students, faculty and organizations with the purpose of engaging the campus community in respectful conversations. LaDuke is the series' final speaker of the semester. The Bob '78 and Robbi Feinberg Family Fund and many departments on campus support LaDuke's appearance.

LaDuke, a two-time Green Party vice presidential candidate on Ralph Nader's ticket, works from the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota. She is widely recognized for her dedication to environmental and human rights issues, and has written extensively on Native American and sustainability issues.

A 2007 inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame, LaDuke and Grammy-winning folk rock duo the Indigo Girls founded Honor the Earth in 1993. She is executive director of the organization, whose primary mission is to create awareness and support for environmental issues of indigenous peoples and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable indigenous communities.

Recognized leader

Globally and nationally, LaDuke is known as a leader in the issues of culturally based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy and sustainable food systems. She is one of the leaders in the work of protecting indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering. LaDuke's work in renewable energy includes the completion of the White Earth Tribal Energy Plan and coordination of implementation work for solar and wind on the White Earth and other reservations.

A graduate of Harvard and Antioch universities, LaDuke has written six books, including "Recovering the Sacred" and "All Our Relations."

Among LaDuke's many honors, Time magazine nominated her in 1994 as one of America's 50 most promising leaders under 40. She also has earned the Thomas Merton Award, Ms. Woman of the Year and the Reebok Human Rights Award.

Tickets are required but free and will be available starting Monday, March 20, at the Marano Campus Center box office, 315-312-3073. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Parking is free in the employee and commuter lots on campus. Sign language interpreters will be available for this event. Others needing accommodations to attend should contact the Dean of Students Office at 315-312-5483.

Robert and Robbi Feinberg established their family fund in 2003 to endow a college lecture series on women and the workplace, and the fund continues to sponsor SUNY Oswego events exploring issues in gender equity. Other sponsors of this event include ALANA, Auxiliary Services, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Native American studies and the gender and women’s studies programs, Hart Hall Global Living and Learning Center, Residence Life and Housing, and the English and creative writing, history, political science and public justice departments.