Frances Moore Lappé’s work has had a profound impact on civic participation, democratic movements, and social justice in the United States and across the globe. Author or co-author of 20 books, including her 1971 best-seller Diet for a Small Planet, Lappé’s work has educated the public on the global food supply and the role of democratic publics in addressing issues of hunger and environmental degradation. In 2002, she co-founded the Small Planet Institute (with her daughter Anna Lappé), a collaborative network for research and popular education to bring democracy to life, as well as the Small Planet Fund to channel resources to democratic social movements worldwide. Frances Moore Lappé received her undergraduate degree at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana in 1966. Only five years later, she changed how we think about food, agriculture, and the environment with the publication of her three-million copy bestseller Diet for a Small Planet (Ballantine Press, 1971; updated 50th anniversary issue, 2021).
"Hiding in the Climate Crisis: Honest Hope in Democratic Action"
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the simultaneous political, economic, and climate crises upon us, but Frances Moore Lappé digs to their interacting roots so we can be sure that in attacking them our actions matter. Lappé shows us how our peculiarly brutal form of capitalism—enabling Big Money’s corruption of our democracy—has brought on climate catastrophe. Lappé also exposes and uproots our culture’s myths about our own nature that hinder us. Our deepest human needs beyond the physical are for power, meaning, and connection, she argues, and only democracy can fulfill them. Stepping up to meet our historic crises becomes an opportunity to meet our own legitimate needs. Through inspiring stories and startling facts on effective climate actions, Lappé helps us realize our own power to generate a new story as we tackle root causes with exhilarating, courageous action—together.
The William T. Patten Foundation
The William T. Patten Foundation provides funds to bring distinguished scholars or practitioners in the sciences, the humanities and the arts to the Bloomington campus for a week. The foundation has brought over 150 scholars of extraordinary national and international distinction since 1937, making it the oldest lecture series at Indiana University. Lecturers are chosen by a campus-wide faculty committee.
William T. Patten graduated in 1893 with a Bachelor of Arts in history from IU. He then moved to Indianapolis and led a successful career in real estate and politics. He created an endowment for the university in 1931, with the purpose of bringing renowned leaders to the Bloomington campus.
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