Framingham State University to Screen Award-Winning Documentary Film:
Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000

Eco-Pioneer Will Speak at Event with Lynne Cherry,
Author of “A River Ran Wild” Children’s Book

Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000 (film poster)Pepperell, MA - Framingham State University in Framingham, Massachusetts will offer a public screening of the documentary film, Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000, on September 26, 2012 at 4:30pm. The general public is invited to attend this free event.

The award-winning documentary by local filmmakers Susan Edwards and Dorie Clark tells the inspiring story of how Stoddart, a self-described ordinary woman in Groton, Massachusetts, was able to accomplish the extraordinary in mobilizing the clean-up of the Nashua River. The Nashua River, which flows through north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, was once one of the 10 most-polluted rivers in America.

Stoddart, who has been honored by the United Nations Environmental Programme’s Global 500 Award and National Geographic for her work as a pioneer of environmental activism, is a citizen leader who has spent most of her life in grassroots organizing and coalition building. Beginning in the early 1960s, she led the massive citizen effort to clean up the Nashua River, providing a model for effective leadership and advocacy that can be used to drive positive change in the world today.

In 1962, Stoddart began by educating herself about water quality issues. In 1965, she formed the Nashua River Clean-Up Committee, a powerful and effective coalition of businesses, politicians, and activists to improve the river. That committee evolved into the Nashua River Watershed Association, a national model for watershed protection across the United States. Stoddart also worked relentlessly for the passage of the landmark Massachusetts Clean Water Act, which became the first such state legislation in the nation, serving as the standard for the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972.

“Marion is a pioneer of the environmental advocacy movement,” says Carl Hakansson, JD, Associate Professor of Environmental Science in the Department of Geography of Framingham State University. “She was an ordinary person who realized her power to make a difference, and as a result her contributions to the environmental movement are extraordinary, and continue today. Our hope is that by sharing Marion’s story, passion and methods we can build students’ skills and confidence in tackling similar critical issues we face today.”

Before the film screens, Stoddart will visit individual classes to discuss service leadership, and after the public film screening she will participate in a question and answer session with students, faculty and the general public. Lynne Cherry, the noted author of the popular children’s book A River Ran Wild, will co-lead the film discussion session; her book is based on the history of the Nashua River and the clean-up project.

“People who watch the film and meet Marion often decide that NOW is the time to get involved," said filmmaker Susan Edwards. "The film engages people, and Marion gives them the inspiration and courage to lead."

Recognition for Stoddart and the Film In recognition of her work, Marion Stoddart 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); she has published an essay in Written In Water by the National Geographic Society (2010); and she received the Children's Planet Protector Award from Boston-based 'e' inc., Environmental Science and Learning Center (2012).

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; Berkshire International Film Festival; Brattleboro International Women’s Film Festival; Citizen Jane Festival; Cine Montana; Bend Film Fest; Los Angeles International Film Festival; Voices From the Waters International Film Festival, Bangalore, India; POW Fest, Portland, OR; and the Sedona International Film Festival, Sedona, AZ.

About Framingham State University Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,400 students with 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a public university, Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students. For more information see http://www.framingham.edu/about-fsu/overview.html.

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 community, visit http://www.workof1000.org.

 

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