Public Events to Highlight Conference on Water Ethics at Viterbo University April 16-18

April 1, 2015

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – The public is invited to attend several free events that are part of the Conference on Water Ethics at Viterbo University Thursday, April 16–Saturday, April 18.

  • Journalist and author Cynthia Barnett will give the keynote presentation “An American Water Ethic” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre. Barnett has reported on freshwater all over the world. She is the author of Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. and Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis, which was named one of the top 10 science books of 2011. Her new book, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History will be published this month by Crown/Random House.
  • Waubanewquay Dorene Day and Larry Long will perform Water Songs at 7 p.m. Friday, April 17 in the Fine Arts Center Lobby. Day has dedicated over 30 years of her life to singing in the native spiritual “Life Ways” ceremonies. Day carries the responsibility of song keeper for her lodge, and is foremost a singer of spiritual songs. Larry Long is an American singer-songwriter who has made his life work the celebration of everyday heroes. In 2014, Long was inducted into the National Old Time Music Hall of Fame. Now a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, Long has sung at major concerts and festivals throughout the United States and world, including, at Madison Square Garden with Joan Baez and others, for Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration.
  • Josephine Mandamin will perform a water ceremony at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 18 in the Reinhart Center Board Room. Mandamin is an Anishinawbe woman from the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island in Ontario. She has walked around the five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River along with her supporters to raise awareness of critical water issues.

The Conference on Water Ethics and associated events are sponsored by the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters.

The conference is designed to host a national conversation on the ethical responsibilities of individuals, communities, businesses, and government agencies in regard to water. The conference will feature presentations examining and celebrating water’s unique status as a common resource, essential to economic, cultural, physiological, and emotional well-being.