Activist encourages students, faculty to ‘think bigger’ to make a difference

Winona LaDuke delivers sixth annual Pathways to Peace lecture at Kennesaw State KENNESAW, Ga. (…

Georgia (Mar 9, 2016)

Winona LaDuke delivers sixth annual Pathways to Peace lecture at Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 9, 2016) – Activist and environmentalist Winona LaDuke began her talk at Kennesaw State University on Tuesday with a dose of reality.

LaDuke, the guest speaker for the sixth annual Pathways to Peace lecture, told KSU students and faculty that people in the United States – herself included – are “pretty privileged” and generally have “minimal problems” compared to the rest of the world’s population.

“The question is, what do we do with our privilege?” she said. “With our privilege comes responsibility. What North America does has pretty big implications for the rest of the world.”

LaDuke’s commitment to helping others evolved from living and working on the White Earth reservation in Minnesota. She led the fight against construction of an oil pipeline that would have cut through the wild rice field that feeds the tribe. Another initiative was starting a farm-to-school program in her community to provide healthy food to students and help fight childhood obesity and diabetes.

“I don’t like just getting stuck talking about what the problem is. I want to know what the solution is,” LaDuke said. “You can do something to make it different.”

As a leader of two nonprofit organizations, Honor the Earth and the White Earth Land Recovery Project, LaDuke works nationally and internationally on issues related to climate change, renewable energy and environmental justice. She also is the author of six books and a former board member of Greenpeace USA.

LaDuke said that, as a child, she wanted to grow up to be like consumer advocate Ralph Nader – whom she called the “people’s superhero.” LaDuke was Nader’s vice presidential candidate when he ran for president as the Green Party’s nominee in 1996 and 2000.

“One of the things he said to me was that sometimes a private citizen must become a public citizen,” LaDuke said. “Sometimes you have to get outside your arena of comfort and think bigger.”

Pathways to Peace is an annual celebration promoting discussion of activities that impact lasting peace across the globe. It is a collaboration between the Michael J. Coles College of Business, the Peace Studies Program, University College and the American Democracy Project.


Paul Floeckher

Photo by David Caselli


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit