WMU News

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gives environmental talk

October 19, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- Environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will talk on "Our Environmental Destiny" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, in the North Ballroom of the Bernhard Center. His presentation, part of Western Michigan University's 1998-99 Keystone Leadership Program Lecture Series, is free and open to the public.

Kennedy is chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. In addition he is a clinical professor and supervising attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University School of Law in New York. Earlier in his career, Kennedy served as assistant district attorney in New York City. He also has worked on several political campaigns and was state coordinator for Edward M. Kennedy's 1980 presidential campaign.

Kennedy has been characterized as a pioneering attorney in the area of municipal and government responsibility for environmental problems. His successful legal actions include prosecuting governments and companies for polluting the Hudson River and Long Island sound, winning settlements for the Hudson Riverkeeper, arguing cases to expand citizen access to the shoreline, and suing sewage treatment plants to force compliance with the Clean Water Act. Kennedy also has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands.

He has written several books, including "New York State Department of Environmental Conservation" ( 1987). His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Pace Environmental Law Review and other publications.

A graduate of Harvard University, Kennedy studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. In addition, he has a master's degree in environmental law from Pace University School of Law.

The 1998-99 lecture series is being sponsored by WMU's Keystone Leadership Program, a registered student organization. The next speaker in the series will be diversity trainer Jane Elliott. Elliott will talk on "The Anatomy of Prejudice" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in Miller Auditorium.

Media contact: Mike Matthews, 616 387-8400, michael.matthews@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400