CSU Stanislaus Bioneers Conference Tackles Environmental, Social Issues

Turlock – Topics that address environmental, social, human rights, and other related issues involving people who are making a difference will take center stage this Friday through Sunday, October 17-19, as the California State University, Stanislaus Council for Sustainable Futures hosts the second annual Great Central Valley Beaming Bioneers Conference.
Films, music, food, panel discussions, a keynote address, and satellite broadcasts from conference headquarters in San Rafael will be featured during the three-day program in Demergasso-Bava Hall. All events are open to the public and participation cost of the three-day program is $20. Information is available on the Web at www.bioneers.org/program, or by calling CSU Stanislaus Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Administration David Colnic at (209) 667-3520.   
A keynote address by renowned journalist, author, filmmaker, and activist George “Elfie” Ballis will highlight opening day of the conference on Friday at 6 p.m. in Room 167 of Demergasso-Bava Hall. Also a photographer and poet, Ballis was named one of “The 75 People Who Made a Difference” in The Fresno Bee’s 75th Anniversary Edition. The Fresno area resident has photographed and worked with the farm worker rights movement since its founding by the late Cesar Chavez.
CSU Stanislaus is one of 19 sites all over the nation participating in the conference. Daily satellite broadcast sessions from conference headquarters in San Rafael featuring a variety of keynote speakers are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 167 of Demergasso-Bava Hall.
On Friday at 2 p.m., a panel of CSU Stanislaus faculty members — Ida Bowers, Peggy Hauselt, and Jennifer Helzer — will address the topic “Students and Bioneers: Making the Vision a Reality.” A reception hosted by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Council for Sustainable Futures and University food service vendor Sodexho featuring local organic products and live music will follow from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Saturday schedule includes a 2 p.m. program titled “Taking Bioneers to the Community” with CSU Stanislaus Geography Professor Ida Bowers, Bill Nunes of Gustine’s Contented Farms, and Brett Sutterly, a teacher at Turlock’s Walnut Elementary School who conducts salmon restoration projects. Capping Saturday’s activities at 6 p.m. is the South Yuba River Citizens League’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival featuring top environmental and adventure films.

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