University of Detroit Mercy to host the 15th annual Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit Conference: “The Planet Will Survive. Will We?” Oct. 25-26

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October 03, 2019
DETROIT—University of Detroit Mercy’s (Detroit Mercy) College of Engineering & Science on the McNichols Campus will play host to the 15th Annual Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit (GLBD) Conference titled “The Planet will Survive. Will We?” Oct. 25-26 on the McNichols Campus.
This event will bring together hundreds of high school students, teachers, university faculty and organizational leaders to discuss the environment and changes. Additionally, attendees will receive opportunities to ponder and discuss many questions about the environment, such as whether or not the planet and human race will exist in the future, given the impact of global warming. 
Bill McKibben, one of the nation’s leading environmental activists, will present a pre-recorded keynote addres titled “Changing the Climate: What We’ve Learned in the Last 30 Years.” He is a scholar of Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and author of The End of Nature (1989), the first book for general audiences about climate change. He is also the founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. For his work, he has won the Right Livelihood Award, Gandhi Prize and Thomas Merton Prize.
A number of compelling presentations and discussions will be available for attendees. On Friday night, conference participants will hear from Ed Whitfield. He is a social critic, writer and community activist, as well as co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities. Originally from Little Rock, Ark., Whitfield’s political activism began when he attended Little Rock Central High School and engaged in the anti-war protest as a teenager. Today, he speaks and writes on issues of cooperatives and economic development, and continues to study issues of war and peace, as well as education and social responses to racism. He serves on the boards of the New Economy Coalition, The Working World and the Southern Reparations Loan Fund.
The conference will also present nine plenary speakers from the national Bioneers conference, as well as the following tours:
  • Southwest Detroit Eco-D Neighborhood Tour.
  • Eastside: From growing our economy to growing our souls.
  • Water is Life—Lila Cabbil Memorial Tour.
  • The Natural History of Palmer Parks Witherell Woods.
  • Green living Science Tour.
  • Forest Therapy at Palmer Park.
On Saturday, Oct. 26, the conference will host a local panel titled “Urban Greening: People, Environment, Power! Panelists include Oday Salim, Donna Givens, Nick Schroeck, Rev. Joan Ross, Joel Howrani Heeres and Victor Carmona.
The 15th annual Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit Conference: “The Planet Will Survive. Will We?” is sponsored by
All conference sessions will take place at Detroit Mercy’s McNichols Campus. For more information and to register for this important conference, please visit To view the program lineup and agenda, please visit
Individuals with specific questions may email them to or
About Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit
GLBD is a part of the Bioneers Resilient Communities Network. Founded in 1990, Bioneers seeks to highlight innovative approaches to environmental and social challenges. The organization believes that building connections between people who share a commitment to solving these issues can transform communities.

GLBD builds on that belief, focusing our energies and resources on the City of Detroit and Southeast Michigan. We believe in celebrating and understanding the connections we all have to each other, our environment, and social justice. Our mission, therefore, is to promote a sustainable community that fosters life-giving relationships, nurtures connections, and celebrates solutions for restoring and healing Earth's communities.
About University of Detroit Mercy

University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest and most comprehensive Catholic university, sponsored by the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Today's University boasts the heritage of two founding institutions: the University of Detroit, founded in 1877 by the Jesuits, and Mercy College of Detroit, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1941.  The two consolidated as University of Detroit Mercy in 1990. Detroit Mercy offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and professional academic degrees and programs through seven schools and colleges. Detroit Mercy educates the whole person, focusing on the value of excellent academics, service to the community and a deeper spirituality to prepare graduates to live lives of purpose and conscience. For more information, please visit
Gary J. Erwin, Associate Vice President
(313) 578-0339


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