March 24, 2015

By Minnie Payne

In an effort to reach a new generation with the sustainability message, Dallas County Community College District has enlisted a dynamic speaker known for speaking to youth for its fifth annual Sustainability Summit, to be held April 2, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Brookhaven College.

Keynote speaker is the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., president, Hip Hop Caucus, an activist group that seeks to “mobilize, educate, and engage young people, age 14 to 40-plus on social issues that directly impact their lives and communities,” according to 

Right, Rev. Yearwood.

Georgeann Moss, co-chair of the DCCCD Sustainability Team, says that she had the honor and privilege of hearing Rev. Yearwood speak at the annual South by Southwest Eco Conference in Austin and considered him to be such a compelling speaker, DCCCD invited him to speak at the Brookhaven sustainability summit.  

“People often compare Rev. Yearwood to the Rev. Martin Luther King, saying that he is to sustainability what Rev. King was to civil rights,” says Moss.  

The welcome and the keynote will begin at 9 a.m. in the Performance Hall.

“We do not have a transcript of Rev. Yearwood’s speech, but we know that it is titled 'Human Salvation Lies in the Hands of the Creatively Maladjusted: Diversifying the Climate Movement,'” says Carrie Schweitzer, chair of the Sustainability Summit Planning Committee and the Sustainability Director for Brookhaven College.  

Schweitzer added that Brookhaven is on a sustainability journey – learning about where and how the college can make an impact – and they felt that Rev. Yearwood could motivate people in making an impact on sustainability on a community and national level.  

This will be the second sustainability conference held at a DCCCD college. Last month, Cedar Valley College hosted its own sustainability conference.

“There is so much need to educate about sustainability that the district is committed to providing that in our community,” says Moss. “There are seven community colleges spread throughout Dallas County, and we believe that the closer you are to a college, the more likely you are going to an event.

“We are broadening our reach and sharing our message through speakers like Rev. Yearwood whose hip hop brand attracts youth who want to make a difference in their community.”

The theme for the summit is “Exploring the Spectrum of Sustainability,” and will be incorporated with its annual Earth Day Fest. Breakout sessions will be held from 10:40-11:50 a.m. and 1-1:50 p.m. on such topics as urban farming, fracking, how to protect honeybees, Pepsi’s corporate sustainability program, how to save money and energy in your home and environmental legislation in the 84th legislature. A third breakout session will be from 2-2:50 p.m. and will include a field trip to the Da Vinci School and a tour of the recycled art show.

See complete schedule of breakout sessions.

The event is free but you may register online. If you do so by March 30, you are guaranteed a free lunch. Otherwise, you may register April 2, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the Performance Hall – Building C.  

Minnie Payne is frequent contributor to She’s written for Pegasus News, Frisco Style Magazine and Seedstock. She presently freelances for Living Magazine, The Senior Voice and Your Speakeasy. She can be reached at

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