Nobel winner's colleague to speak at MSU event

September 20, 2012 10:20:28 AM



A friend and colleague of late Nobel Peace Prize-winning Kenyan, Wangari Maathai, will speak at Mississippi State University tonight. 


At 7 p.m. in McCool Hall, Vertistine Beaman Mbaya, who witnessed many of the events detailed in "Unbowed," the 2012 Maroon Edition book, will be speaking on the life of Maathai and the environmentalist's ideas. 


Maathai founded the Greenbelt Movement in Kenya in 1977 and began spreading her thoughts on environmental conservation and development.  


The Greenbelt Movement earned Maathai the 2004 Nobel for "contributions to sustainable development, democracy and peace." 


"The fact that (Maathai) was able to do this in Kenya is remarkable," said Linda Morris, chair of the Maroon Edition, the campus-wide reading program. 


Maroon Edition schedules events around the assigned books in an effort to enhance and enrich the reading experience for students. 


Though Maathai passed away last year, the Greenbelt Movement flourishes, and Mbaya, the treasurer of the movement and a member of its board of directors, is touring the U.S. promoting Maathai's sustainability ideas. 


Mbaya is also on the medical faculty at the University of Nairobi's School of Health Sciences division.  


The event is free to the public.