Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

February 11, 2013

Group shines light on sustainability

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — A Friday afternoon symposium proved that Barren County and Western Kentucky University have a community of individuals and organizations actively searching for a way to better the planet and lead lives that are as beneficial to future generations as they are to the present generation.

WKU-Glasgow’s Greentoppers club, a group focused on sustainability and environmental awareness, hosted Awakening the Dreamer: Changing the Dream, a five-hour workshop dedicated to “bring forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling world.”

The Greentoppers, while they have had a group at WKU’s main campus for several years, is a new presence on the Glasgow campus. WKU-G student Angela Briggs helped found the chapter after studying sustainability in one of her classes. Once she and a handful of other students formed the club, they started looking for ways to make an impact.

“We didn’t know what we wanted to do or how we wanted to do it, but we knew we wanted to do something,” Briggs said.

Greentoppers invited a group of 50 WKU students, faculty and local community members to attend Awakening the Dreamer in an effort to unite a network of people who believe in protecting the earth and fostering social justice.

“We have amazing things here in Barren County and this is the time to start something that could get big,” Briggs said.

Awakening the Dreamer, created by the Pachamama Alliance, seeks to educate individuals about harsh environmental truths while simultaneously motivating them to take positive action. The alliance holds up values of indigenous tribes and tries to form a bridge between the technologically advanced world with the native world in tune with the earth. The symposium worked its way from discussing where the world is now, to where people want it to go. Sister Claire McGowan and Dr. Ron Hustedde led workshop participants in their examination of how to make a difference.

“We come as people convinced of the power of ordinary individuals and ordinary groups to make a difference,” McGowan.

For the full story, see the print or e-edition of Tuesday's Glasgow Daily Times.