Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice for the global youth-led environmental movement, will be the featured speaker at the 2019 Howard Seymour Bissell and Robert Kenyon Bissell Symposium. Focused on addressing the social and environmental challenges of our time, the lecture, Imaginary Borders, will be held on Monday, Sept. 30 in Hayden Auditorium in the College’s Bates Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m. A performance by Martinez, and an open microphone for those who would like to perform a song, rap, or spoken word will follow at 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Martinez is the youth director for Earth Guardians, a group dedicated to training today’s youth to be effective leaders in environmental, climate, and social justice movements across the globe. Through art, music, storytelling, projects, civic engagement, and legal action the group works to advance solutions to the critical issues faced by the global community. Since the age of six, Martinez has traveled worldwide, educating and empowering his generation to foster a sustainable future. He is also the author of “We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet.”  

The Howard Seymour Bissell and Robert Kenyon Bissell Symposium is intended to have sustained and significant impact on the academic life of Hiram College. Its purpose is to support students in their development toward becoming effective members of society through a variety of activities.

In addition to organizing the annual symposium, the role of the Howard S. Bissell Chair in the Liberal Arts is to support the College’s longstanding commitment to the liberal arts and the mentoring relationship between faculty and students. George Bissell established the Howard Seymour Bissell Chair of Liberal Arts in honor of his father in 1998. A respected attorney, business executive, Howard Bissel served as a friend and member of the College’s Board of Trustees for many years.

For more information about the symposium or to request an open microphone spot, please contact the Bissell Chair, Debbie Kasper, at kasperdv@hiram.edu.


by Jenelle Bayus

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