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Spiritual Leaders to Discuss Environmental Stewardship & Faith at Clarkson University, Dec. 3

Spiritual leaders from the North Country will gather at Clarkson University to share their views on taking care of the environment.

Bill VitekChristian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Traditional Mohawk and Unitarian Universalist leaders will speak on "Environmental Stewardship & Faith" from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, in Bertrand H. Snell Hall Room 213 (#20 on the map at

Clarkson's Institute for a Sustainable Environment is hosting the panel discussion in collaboration with the Ministerial Association of Potsdam. The event is free and open to the public.

Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences Bill Vitek will moderate the discussion.

"It is estimated by the Pew Research Center that, worldwide, more than eight-in-10 people identify with a religious group," Vitek said. "It is therefore hard to imagine achieving any long-term and lasting progress against our environmental ills without having the religious perspective--in all its varieties--at the table with the scientists, policy-makers and activists."

Alex French, sustainability coordinator in Clarkson's Institute for a Sustainable Environment, said this panel discussion is pertinent as world leaders are currently gathering in France for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, which aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. This 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

French said discussions such as these are important to encourage communities to steward the ecosystem and consume consciously.

"I'm very excited to see this panel come together," he said. "This panel shows that sustainability and care for the environment is not a new trend or political agenda, but rather it's an ancient theme found in every tradition. Having these various spiritual leaders come together to teach our community about stewardship will be a very special event for the North Country ecosystem."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences Bill Vitek will moderate a panel discussion of spiritual leaders from the North Country as they share their views on environmental stewardship and faith.

[A photograph for media use is available at .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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