College Hosts Sustainable September to Focus on Climate Change

Driven by the papal encyclical, the month-long series of events tackles several current environmental issues.

As part of Manhattan College’s Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Task Force, the Office of Campus Ministry and Social Action has planned a series of “Sustainable September” events next month. The goal of Sustainable September’s activities is to increase awareness and encourage action on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the campus community.

Organizing the series is an interdisciplinary group comprised of director of Campus Ministry and Social Action Lois Harr, religious studies professors Mehnaz Afridi, Ph.D. and Kevin Ahern, Ph.D., government professor Pamela Chasek, Ph.D., and chemical engineering professor Gennaro Maffia, D.E.

Harr noted that Pope Francis’s June encyclical on climate change spurred the group to create programming that would engage students on the issues addressed. “Pope Francis noted that ‘nothing in this world is indifferent to us,’” Harr explained. “We used that as a guiding principle to organize Sustainable September.”

The list of Sustainable September events follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 3:30 p.m. From the MDGs to the SDGs: The United Nations’ Post-2015 Development Agenda. Presented by Pamela Chasek, Ph.D.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 3:30 p.m. World Water Issues and Solutions. Presented by Manar Saria, Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon and Gennaro Maffia, Ph.D.

Friday, Sept. 25, 9 a.m. Pastry and Pope Francis: Watch Pope Francis’ historic address to the United Nations.

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 3:30 p.m. Now What? Action and Advocacy for a Sustainable Future. Presented by Kevin Ahern, Ph.D.

Sustainable September is sponsored by the Catholic Relief Services Faculty Task Force and Campus Ambassadors, Office of Campus Ministry and Social Action, Peace Studies Department, Office of Mission, International Studies Department, Government Department, Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability, and the Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center. All events are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information, contact Lois Harr at (718) 862-7142 or