International environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and feminist Vandana Shiva will present an address as part of the Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Lecture Series at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 15, in the Hansen Student Center at Illinois Wesleyan University. Her talk is titled “The Future of Food” and is free and open to the public. There will be a master class for the University communities at 3 p.m. that same day in the Bone Student Center Old Main Room on the Illinois State University campus.
Shiva currently chairs the Commission on the Future of Food set up by the Region of Tuscany in Italy and is a board member of the International Forum on Globalization. She is the author of more than 20 books and has spoken at universities around the world. In 2003, Time magazine lauded Shiva as an “environmental hero” for her work.
Emphasizing the need for sustainable agriculture, Shiva is a supporter of getting women across the globe more involved in planting and farming. Her contributions to gender issues are nationally and internationally recognized. Her book Staying Alive dramatically shifts popular perceptions of Third World women. She founded the gender unit at the International Centre for Mountain Development in Kathmandu, and was a founding Board Member of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization.
In 1993, Shiva received the Right Livelihood Award—often known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize—for her work “placing women and ecology at the heart of modern development discourse.” She is also the recipient of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global 500 Award and the Earth Day International Award of the United Nations.
Shiva studied as a physicist at the University of Punjab before earning her Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, Canada in 1978. She later shifted to interdisciplinary research in science, technology, and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India.
The Stevenson Lecture Series was established by a group of local civic leaders to honor the legacy of Bloomington native Adlai E. Stevenson II, former governor of Illinois and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, after his death in 1965. The series is co-hosted by Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University.