Marion Stoddart to Speak at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government
 Activist will Share Life Lessons in Civic Engagement and Leadership

Marion StoddartCambridge, MA - Renowned river advocate Marion Stoddart will share her life experience as a civic leader and pioneer environmental activist, in a June 14, 2012 lecture at Harvard Kennedy School. Stoddart will be speaking to government sector professionals in the “Senior Executives in State and Local Government,” Executive Education Program—a three-week intensive course to help seasoned public officials engage with constituents on the changing needs of their communities.

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Stoddart, a Groton, MA resident who has been honored by the United Nations and National Geographic for her work as a pioneer of environmental activism, is a citizen leader committed to a lifetime of grassroots organizing and coalition building. She is the subject of the documentary film called Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000, which tells the story of her work to clean up the Nashua River, beginning in the early 1960s. Flowing through north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, the Nashua River was once one of the 10 most-polluted rivers in America, but it has been restored to become a vital natural resource for wildlife and people.

“I am delighted to be a guest speaker in Harvard’s Kennedy School Executive Education Program, to share my perspective on effective leadership and civic engagement,” said Stoddart. “Across the country there is an ongoing and growing need for citizens, industry, and government create a shared vision and collaborate to solve critical social, environmental and economic issues,” added Stoddart.

“We recognize that Marion Stoddart is an experienced leader and role model, not only for environmental stewardship but for civic engagement of all types,” said David King, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. “When we build our course curricula we include leaders from the community who have demonstrated experience, expertise and success; Marion Stoddart meets all of those criteria,” added King.

About the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program
The Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government provides a balance of traditional and hands-on learning experiences to help seasoned public officials meet the changing needs of their constituents and communities. This three-week program operates as an interactive classroom, where faculty and participants work together on real-life case studies and learn from each other. One of the most frequently cited problems of public officials is how to create and engage in public discourse about difficult subjects. Participants are in an environment where the classroom serves as a forum for raising difficult issues and practicing the skill of creating and maintaining a conversation that leads to change. Through interactive exercises in the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, participants also gain a deeper understanding of their own biases and attitudes as well as personal insights that can sharpen decision making. For more information please visit http://hks.harvard.edu/ee/sl

Recognition for Stoddart and the Film
In recognition of her work, Marion has received many awards including the United Nations Environmental Programme’s Global 500 Award (1987). She was also profiled in National Geographic (1995) and in an award-winning children’s book, A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry; she was a National Women’s History Project Honoree as “One of the Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet” (2009); and has just published an essay in Written In Water by the National Geographic Society (2010).

The documentary film has garnered praise around the world, including Best Short Film at the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival in New Zealand; Best Documentary Short at the Rivers’ Edge Festival in Paducah, KY; AT&T Award for Environmental Conservation and Stewardship; Projecting Change Award in Vancouver Canada; Speak Out Award at the 44th Annual Humbolt Film Festival, Arcata, CA; Best Call to Action Film at the Green Screen Environmental Film Festival, Venice, CA

The film has also been named an Official Selection in the following film festivals: 2012 Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Nevada City, CA; 2011 Berkshire International Film Festival, Great Barrington MA; 2012 Boston International Film Festival, Boston MA; Brattleboro International Women’s Film Festival, Brattleboro VT; 2011 Citizen Jane Festival, Columbia MO; 2011 Cine Montana; 2011 Bend Film Fest, Bend OR; 2012 Lake Arrowhead Film Festival; 2011 Los Angeles International Film Festival; 2011Voices From the Waters International Film Festival, Bangalore, India; 2012 POW Fest, Portland, OR; and the 2012 Sedona International Film Festival, Sedona, AZ; 2012 Female Eye Film Festival, Toronto Canada.

About the Work of 1000 Civic Engagement Program
Marion Stoddart’s campaign to clean up the Nashua River shows us that determined individuals can make real and lasting change. The Work of 1000 Civic Engagement Program shares her compelling story, passion, and process–via film and discussion—to empower others to act. Marion made a difference. So can you.  To learn more about the film and how you can screen it in your school or community, visit http://www.workof1000.org
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