BUFFALO, N.Y. – Student environmental activists from
Western and Central New York are getting ready to teach, learn and
discuss New York State's environmental future at Power Shift New
York 2010 on the University at Buffalo North Campus on April
Hosted by the UB Environmental Network, the event includes three
days of tours, lectures, panels, workshops, and a downtown concert.
It's part of the "Define Our Decade" campaign affiliated with the
Energy Action Coalition, and is expected to be the largest
student-organized environmental conference at UB.
Power Shift New York involves student environmental
organizations from across the state, including SUNY Geneseo's
Geneseo Environmental Organization; SUNY Fredonia's Fredonia
Sustainability Committee. Alfred University's Green Alfred and
Cornell University's Kyoto Now.
Organizers have confirmed more than 50 speakers for the
conference, including NYS Senator Antoine Thompson, Walter Simpson,
former director of UB Green, and Lois Gibbs, who is nationally
known for her work with the Love Canal crisis in Niagara Falls,
Gibbs, renowned author, activist and executive director of the
Center for Health, Environment and Justice, will be speaking about
her experience with environmental struggles and her current
campaign to eliminate the toxic plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
Before Gibbs' speech at 11 a.m. on April 18 in Room 20, Knox
Hall, organizers will set up a 25-foot-tall inflatable duck on
Founders Plaza in an effort to raise awareness. "Betty the Be Safe
Ducky" has been used across the country to represent the threat
that PVC, commonly used in rubber duck bath toys, poses to public
health and safety.
Danielle Peters, president of the UB Environmental Network and a
lead organizer for the event, believes that Power Shift New York
will provide valuable education and "capture the creativity of the
things you can do with environmentalism."
"What people need to know is that this conference is not just
for students who are active in the environment," Peters said, "but
for anyone who wants to learn and improve their breadth of
"We want to learn about environmental issues, but we want to do
something about the environmental issues that are going on," Peters
On Friday night, Power Shift NY ticketholders will have free
admission to a concert at Wasteland on Main Street in downtown
Buffalo, where Melissa Latimer, Revision and Paul's Grandfather
will be performing.
In addition to UB EN, Power Shift NY is sponsored by the UB
chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), a student
organization of engineers committed to using technology for
environmentally-conscious projects. ESW will hold a session to
demonstrate how they built their solar-powered smoothie cart, which
they will use to distribute fruity refreshments this Earth Day,
Other UB sponsors include UB Green, Student Life, the
Environmental Studies program, Parking and Transportation Services,
the Office of Career Services and Campus Dining and Shops, which
will hold a tour of their environmentally-friendly compost system
and provide breakfast for attendees on Saturday and Sunday.
Registration will continue through April 18. Tickets for Power
Shift NY cost $15, and can be purchased in advance through the SBI
Ticket office at the UB Student Union on North Campus or online at
Additional information about Power Shift NY 2010 is available at
the Web site as well.