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Centenary College Hosts Panel Discussion and Viewing of "Groundwell Rising"

04/14/2014, 03:24 PM

Hackettstown, N.J.– Centenary College will be hosting a panel discussion and showing the film “Groundswell Rising, Protecting Our Children’s Air and Water” at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014, at the Little Theatre of the Edward W. Seay Administration Building (400 Jefferson Street, Hackettstown, N.J.). This event is held in conjunction with the Skylands Group of the New Jersey Sierra Club Chapter.

“Groundswell Rising, Protecting Our Children’s Air and Water,” the new documentary from Emmy Award-winning Resolution Pictures, captures the passion of people engaged in a David and Goliath confrontation. The film interviews mothers, fathers, scientists, doctors, farmers and people from all sides of the political spectrum taking a hard look at energy extraction techniques not proven to be safe.  With the oil and gas industry’s expansion of “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing of shale beds for natural gas) seen as a moral issue, this provocative documentary tracks a people’s movement, a groundswell rising towards reason and sensitivity, to protect life, today and tomorrow.

After the 80-minute film, a panel of stakeholders will discuss the process of fracking and its dangers.  The panel discussion will be moderated by Renard Cohen, Director and Creator of “Groundswell Rising.”  Panelists will include Barbara Arrindell, Chair and Chief Science Officer for Damascus Citizens for Sustainability (DCS); Dr. Noah Haiduc-Dale, Assistant Professor of History at Centenary College; Mary Kushner, Steering Committee Member of Roseland Against the Compressor Station (RACS); Kate Millsaps, Conservation Program Coordinator for the New Jersey Sierra Club Chapter; and Jim Walsh, Mid-Atlantic Region Director for Food & Water Watch.

“This is an important topic and I am pleased that we can show this film and have this panel discussion at Centenary College,” says Dr. Lauren Bergey, Associate Professor of Biology, Director of Environmental Programs and Chair of the Mathematics and Natural Sciences Department at Centenary College.  “Certainly, this will be an informative discussion and I hope many people from the community will plan to attend.”

Renard Cohen, along with his brother, Matt Cohen, are founders of Emmy Award Winning Resolution Pictures.  Their productions include the following: “Seasoned with Spirit,” an Emmy-winning series about Native American culture and cuisine, and “The Science of Healing with Dr. Esther Sternberg,” about the mind/body connection to healing (both with PBS).  Resolution has produced for the Food Network, HGTV and the Fine Living Network.

Cohen is the former President of the Pocono Environmental Coalition and Wildlife Society.  An accomplished composer and singer, Cohen has performed his songs “Fracken Shame,” “The Ostrich” and “Procrastination Blues” in a number of environmental forums, and he wrote and recorded “Groundswell Rising,” the theme for the movie.  For more information, visit www.resolutionpictures.com or renardcohen.com. 

Barbara Arrindell is the founding member of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability and currently serves as its Chair and Chief Science Officer.  In that capacity, she has educated national and international press and policymakers about the interlocking drilling issues, impacts and the politics and science responsible. 

Dr. Noah Dale-Haiduc recently published a monograph entitled “Arab Christians in British Mandate Palestine Communalism and Nationalism” by Edinburgh University Press.  His feedback is relevant to the discussion based on his own personal experiences with fracking in southwest Pennsylvania.  While working at Waynesburg University, he connected students with the Izaak Walton League of Greene County, which organized a citizen monitoring system of all of the major waterways in the county.  The goal was to find hotspots, so professional state teams could focus their attention on cleaning those areas. He also helped those students start a town-wide recycling program, as well as other smaller initiatives.

Mary Kushner is a retired special educator and an environmental activist who became inspired when a natural gas compressor station was constructed less than a mile from her home.

In addition to her work for the New Jersey Sierra Club Chapter, Kate Millsaps has been active in statewide and local environmental issues, previously working for the New Jersey Highlands Coalition and the New Jersey Environmental Federation.  She also served on the Clinton Township Environmental Commission. 

Jim Walsh is a dedicated political organizer with over 10 years’ experience working in local and national movements to empower communities to work for social, environmental and economic justice.  In Walsh’s current capacity with the Food & Water Watch, Walsh oversees and implements a regional strategy to ensure the well-being of the public triumphs over private interests who profit from the exploitation of the essential resources of food and water.

The suggested donation to attend the event is $10 for non-students.  Proceeds will help defray the “Groundswell Rising” production costs. 

Other partnering organizations for the May 3 event include Franciscan Response to Fracking, Genesis Farm, League of Women Voters of Sussex Highlands and Transition Newton.
About The Skylands Group of the New Jersey Sierra Club Chapter
 The Skylands Group covers the Northwest New Jersey geographical area, which includes all of the Sussex County and Northern Warren County.  For more information about the Group, or about the “Groundswell Rising” event, contact skylandsgroup@gmail or (973) 600-4960.

About Centenary College
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary College’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.

Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County).  The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.  The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.
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