United Nations Invites Saint Peter’s Students to Seminar

Jersey City – A group of students and their professor from Saint Peter’s College, a recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) by the United Nations (UN), were invited to participate in a day-long seminar today, May 8, at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Entitled “Art Changing Attitudes Toward the Environment,” this event centered on the intolerance of the needs of the earth, and the attitudinal and behavioral changes that must be made in order to protect the planet.


As an NGO, Saint Peter’s College is committed to raise public awareness about the purposes and activities of the UN and issues of global concern.  Currently, there are only 18 colleges and universities designated as NGOs.  


This seminar is part of a series planned by the UN and various renowned artists to demonstrate that the universal language of art can unite people in thought and action, and empower individuals, communities, and leaders to incorporate environmental values into social, economic and political realms.


Professor of Fine Arts at Saint Peter’s College, Beatrice Mady, attended the seminar with students from the Fine Arts Department; Meredith Earley ’09, Nathalie Murray ’08, Tenneal McCair ’08, Kamila Dabrowski ’10 and Julio Morales ’08.  Referring to the importance of the event, Mady said, “I wanted to enlighten the students and expose them to new ideas.  Hopefully, they will incorporate these ideas into their lives and their art.”


Kiyotaka Akasaka, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, provided opening remarks and served as the moderator for the seminar. The first session, “Confronting Environmental Intolerance,” focused on creative approaches to climate change, and detailed the perspectives of globally recognized artists and activists who were present. The second session, “Art for Change,” aimed at sharing strategies in which communities and governments can use art to promote changes.


Halfway through the sessions, student Meredith Earley reflected, “The water-box art installations reminded me to take simple steps to protect our planet – even taking a shorter shower can save a significant amount of water.”


The works of the participating artists will be on view from Friday, May 9 to Saturday, May 31, 2008 at the UN Headquarters.  The artists represent six global regions, including Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and North America, and Western Asia.


This is the sixth seminar in the Unlearning Intolerance Seminar Series, organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) in cooperation with the Natural World Museum, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It currently coincides with the annual session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.


Saint Peter’s College is committed to a number of initiatives related to environmental issues.


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Saint Peter’s College is the Jesuit College of New Jersey. Founded in 1872, Saint Peter’s has an enrollment of approximately 3,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. The main campus is located in Jersey City. The College has a branch campus for adults in Englewood Cliffs, NJ and also offers courses at various corporate sites at the Jersey City waterfront and in South Amboy, NJ.