Earth Day Symposium 2020

Inver Hills virtual event Earth Day 50th Anniversary Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Inver Hills Community College is hosting an Earth Day Symposium Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, the virtual event begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. You can attend the event online via Zoom and enjoy a full schedule of speakers, including Britt Forsberg, Minnesota Bee Atlas program coordinator, Sheila O’Connor, award-winning novelist, and Jessica Hellmann, Institute on the Environment director at the University of Minnesota, and presenters, Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers, Yale University-trained architects.

A bit of background…

Originally our Earth Day celebration was going to be a portion of the college’s Annual Research Conference in the Fine Arts building on the Inver Hills campus in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Things changed quickly. With the campus closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized we would likely be unable to proceed with the conference as planned.

We decided to focus our efforts on a one-day, virtual gathering, our Earth Day Symposium 2020, to honor the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

We made this decision because on Earth Day, April 22, 2020, we have two ongoing crises: One is the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. The other is a slowly building disaster for our planet: global climate change. Our campus community is working toward raising awareness and contributing critical knowledge regarding both worldwide issues.

We can, will and must solve these challenges. This starts locally at the community level. Inver Hills can make a big impact by participating in sustainable practices while educating members of our campus and neighboring communities. The world was not prepared for the novel coronavirus. But we still have time to prepare—in every part of our world—for the climate crisis. We must work together to save Mother Earth.

Earth Day Symposium 2020 at Inver Hills

Painting by Muna Hussein, Inver Hills art student | Art in Crisis Collection

Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9 a.m. →  Intro to Earth Day Presentation
9 – 10 a.m. → Special Guest Speaker: Britt Forsberg
10 – 11 a.m. → Special Guest Speaker: Sheila O’Connor
11 – 12 p.m. → Keynote Presentation: Jessica Hellmann
12 – 1 p.m. → Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (movie/lunch break)
1 – 2 p.m. → Special Presentation: Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers
2 – 3:30 p.m. → What “Is” an Environment Round Table/Discussion
3:30 – 4 p.m. → Closing Remarks

Earth Day Symposium virtual event HOME

Live Zoom link

This online event is open to the public.

More about Earth Day 2020

The History of Earth Day¹

The First Earth Day

Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

As we prepare to mark 50 years of Earth Day in 2020, let’s take a look at the last half-century of mobilization for action:

Origins of Earth Day

Earth Day 1970 gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet —

In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health.


Learn more about the Earth Day Symposium 2020 virtual event at Inver Hills by contacting:

Shane Stroup
Philosophy Faculty
Inver Hills Community College

Randi Goettl
Director of Accessibility Resources
The Bee’s Knees Committee Lead
Inver Hills Community College

¹ Courtesy of Earth Day

Drawing by Sara Tinetti, Inver Hills art student | Art in Crisis Collection