Dr. Jane Goodall, the world-renowned ethologist and conservationist, will make a special “Virtual Jane: Hope Through Action” presentation via the Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies at Western Connecticut State University at noon on Saturday, March 19.
The public is invited to participate in Goodall’s talk, and will be able to submit questions for her to answer. Goodall’s presentation is sponsored by WCSU and The Woman’s Club of Danbury and New Fairfield, Inc.
Tickets to the virtual event can be purchased for $15 at https://wcsutickets.regfox.com/jane-goodall. Reservations for WCSU students are free, but students must pre-register. Proceeds will benefit the WCSU Permaculture Garden and student interns; donations are also appreciated.
Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and a UN Messenger of Peace, inspires greater understanding and action on behalf of the natural world. Known for groundbreaking studies of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, which forever changed our understanding of our relationship to the rest of the animal kingdom, her research continues today as the longest running wild chimpanzee study in the world. Goodall’s work builds on scientific innovations, growing a lifetime of advocacy including trailblazing efforts through her international organization the Jane Goodall Institute, which advances community-led conservation, animal welfare, science and youth empowerment through JGI’s Roots & Shoots program. Today, Goodall continues to connect with worldwide audiences despite the challenges of the pandemic through “Virtual Jane,” including remote lectures, recordings and her podcast the “Jane Goodall Hopecast.”
Goodall and Western Connecticut State University have long and productive collaborations. The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies on WCSU’s campus was founded in 1995, and Goodall visited the university annually for over a decade for her Jane Goodall Symposia, allowing students, the public and academic, environmental and business leaders to learn from and interact with her. The symposia raised awareness about issues of international concern, including biology, ecology and human culture. The Jane Goodall Center also provides service-learning projects for students with various agencies and programs throughout the community, and in 2005 WCSU established the National Center for University Roots & Shoots, the first of its kind. The WCSU office served as a regional and national center of excellence until 2012, when headquarters moved to the Jane Goodall Institute in Washington, D.C., and today students in the university’s Roots & Shoots program remain active in causes such as local,
regional and global conservation and attend leadership and educational conferences.
“Dr. Jane Goodall’s advocacy of her now world-wide Roots & Shoots youth program speaks to us all,” said Dr. Rob Whittemore, WCSU professor of Anthropology and faculty adviser of WCSU’s Roots & Shoots Club. “Members of the WCSU Roots & Shoots Club, as workers and advocates of our on-campus organic Permaculture Garden, share what we grow with those in our wider community facing food scarcity. Our commitment speaks for a planet under siege, and the need to recognize our responsibility within the diverse ecologies of which we, and all animals, are a part,” he noted.
Chair of the WCSU Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Manoj Misra said, “On behalf of the Jane Goodall Center at WCSU, I am delighted that Dr. Goodall has kindly agreed to find the time from her busy schedule to virtually connect with the community here. It is a tremendous opportunity for our students and the broader community to interact with her and ask questions.” He added that in 2021, Goodall was the recipient of the Templeton Prize that honors those who “harness the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it,” and her newest book, “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times,” was published. According to her biography, Goodall is a global icon spreading hope and turning it into meaningful positive impact to create a better world for people, other animals and the planet we share.