Senator Tony Vargas has devoted his career to public service and advocacy. Currently a Nebraska State Senator, he represents District 7 in South Omaha. Tony is the son of Peruvian immigrants who worked in manufacturing. He has always stood up for working families and fought to protect the American Dream. Tony began his career as a public school teacher in New York City with Teach for America. He and his wife live in the Little Italy neighborhood of South Omaha and are proud Catholic parishioners of St. Frances Cabrini Church.

Sunday, Oct. 1 2:30 pm Free Public Lecture - 
                  Exploring Environmental Justice in Nebraska

Sunday, October 1
          7:00 a.m. Scott Williams - Fries to Fuel demonstration


Scott Williams is Co-Founder of Omaha Biofuels Coop and will be showing us how vegetable oils are converted into biodiesel fuel.

Founded in 2008, the Omaha Biofuels Coop works to produce, use, and promote biofuels to reduce consumption of fossil fuels. Our members collect and process waste vegetable oil into biofuels, and provide research, eduation and community outreach for developing advanced sustainable biofuels in the future.
Monday, October 2

     9:10 a.m Dr John Gamon 

Beyond Global Warming: Ethical Choices in a Changing World

     10:40 a.m.  Kim Morrow 
When the Free Market Turns Green: How the Commercial Sector is Leading the Sustainability Revolution


     7:30 –8:15  Book Reviews

 Dr. John Gamon studies the "breathing of the planet" - the exchanges of carbon and water vapour between the biosphere and the atmosphere that affect ecosystem productivity and help regulate our atmosphere and climate. Of particular interest are the effects of disturbance (fires, succession, weather events and climate change) on these basic processes. Dr. Gamon conducts fieldwork in a range of ecosystems from the Arctic to the Tropics
Kim Morrow is passionate about finding smart, compassionate, and community-based solutions to the environmental challenges of our time. An ordained minister, Kim’s passion for healthy ecosystems led her to combine social justice with climate change and sustainability work in a variety of settings in Nebraska. She currently works as a Senior Associate at Verdis Group, where she helps to create sustainable solutions that help organizations flourish.

Read about these two books on this site:  Readings

Senator Pansing Brooks represents legislative district #28.

​Senator Patty Pansing Brooks will help us connect the dots between sound environmental policies and their impact on children, seniors, the economy, equity issues, health and public safety for all Nebraskans.  She will also give us concrete strategies for the most effective citizen advocacy on state-level environmental policies.

Tuesday, October 3

     9:10 a.m. Public Policy


    10:40 a.m. Lifestyle:
Living the Good Life with

Gus von Roenn

     7:30-8:15 p.m. Non-Violent Direct Action

Gus von Roenn
Gus is an advocate for permaculture and sustainable practices throughout Nebraska. He works through many organizations like the Nebraska Farmers Union, theSierra Club, Nebraskans for Solar, Nebraska Sustainability Agricultural Society, and the Metro Omaha Food Policy Council to elevate the discussion of issues surrounding healthy food accessibility, land stewardship and entrepreneurship in low-income communities. His academic background is in anthropology, sociology, archaeology, and permaculture. Currently, Gus is a certified permaculture designer with his own permaculture design consulting firm and landscaping crew to install the designs. As an advocate for everything permaculture and sustainability in Nebraska, he likes to help many organizations teach their constituents the limitless opportunities that create abundance in all of our communities for all of us to share. 
Joyce Glenn has been a practitioner of non-violent direct action over several decades.  She will help us explore the philosophy and tactics of nonviolent direct action.  From Gandhi's famous salt march, Rosa's seat on the bus and Gene Sharp's Civilian-Based Defense, nonviolent direct action is about organized people power, using tactics outside of normal institutions.
Wednesday, October 5


     8:45—9:30 Advocacy: Jane Kleeb 

     10:30 a.m. Blessings for Mother Earth and All Life: and Tree Dedication

Jane Kleeb will present tips and examples on how to protect the environment with a focus on advocacy to impact policy makers.

Jane is an experienced grassroots organizer, manager, political strategist and nonprofit entrepreneur.  Dubbed the “Keystone Killer” by Rolling Stone, Jane was featured in the NY Times Magazine for her commitment to rural farmers and ranchers and unique organizing style. Jane is the Founder and President of the national Bold Alliance and manages the staff of the Bold states organizing in rural communities.