Environmentalist, author to speak at Ozarks Nov. 11

Release Date: 11/1/2013

Environmental activist and author Severn Cullis-Suzuki, known as the girl who silenced the world, will speak University of the Ozarks on Monday, Nov. 11, as part of the Walton Arts & Ideas Series.

Severn Cullis-SuzukiThe event, which is also sponsored by the university's Ozarks Outdoors program, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center. There is no charge for admission and the public is invited.

A native of Canada, Cullis-Suzuki gained international attention as a 12-year-old when she delivered her famous speech at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, pleading for the delegates to preserve the planet.  Her powerful speech silenced world leaders and the address now has more than 26 million views on YouTube. For presenting her speech in Rio, Severn received the UN Environment Program's Global 500 Award.

Since then, Severn has gone on to speak to audiences around the world about the necessity of redefining our values and acting with the future in mind when it comes to environmental sustainability.

In 2000, Severn cycled across Canada in a campaign to raise awareness about climate change and air pollution. In 2001, along with others, she developed The Skyfish Project, a youth think-tank that presented at the 2002 United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development. The presentation was the subject of a documentary film that aired CBC's The Nature of Things.

Severn has published several books including "The Day You Will Change the World," and is one of the authors and editors of the book "Notes from Canada's Young Activists." As a youth, Severn co-hosted a TV series in North America for children called Suzuki's NatureQuest, and currently hosts the APTN series Samaqan Water Stories about water issues. She is also a board member for the David Suzuki Foundation and the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society, a "spark" for the Girls Action Foundation, and was a champion for WE CANada at the Earth Summit 2012.

Severn received a bachelor of science in ecology and evolutionary biology from Yale University, and a master's of science degree in ethnoecology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, where she studied with Kwakwaka'wakw elders on the Pacific Northwest coast.