Lead Advocate for the Environment Visits Buffalo, Spends Time at Nichols

Filed under: Clubs,Community,News |

On December 1, a group of environmentally-minded business leaders, grassroots justice workers, and interested community members gathered for the 2014 Western New York Environmental Alliance (WNYEA) Congress. Combining reflections on the last twelve months and crafting a vision for the next calendar year, this was an evening in which many celebrated the increasingly effective green movement in the city and across the broader region. Daniel Katz, a visionary in the field of environmental advocacy, served as the event’s keynote speaker.

Mr. Katz co-founded the Rainforest Alliance in 1986 and his since ushered the organization into a leading position in the global effort to protect global resources and native species. He now serves as the Senior Program Director at the Overbrook Foundation, a philanthropic organization in which he runs giving campaigns in sustainability and climate projects. During his speech at the WNYEA Congress, he touched on a range of subjects from supply-chain transparency (dealing with increasing concern about manufacturing on behalf of consumers) to the unfortunate dystopian tone in which the media oft discusses climate change. Perhaps most striking and relevant for this audience was his discussion of the need for unity and alignment in the non-profit world. A larger impact can be had if there is a team effort on top of the existing work of each individual organization. As the WNYEA looks forward to an ambitious 2015 campaign, his message hit home.

As part of his whirlwind tour of Buffalo, Mr. Katz spent a few hours on Tuesday morning on our Nichols campus. He visited classes in the Middle School, took a tour of Center ’63, and held a question and answer session with an audience comprised of the 5th grade, 7th grade, and representatives from the Upper School’s Students for Environmental Awareness group. His clear passion for his work is something all Nichols students should appreciate and hope to emulate.

By Alex Fisher ’15

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