(Chris Jordan on Midway, via Midway Journey photoset on Flickr)
School is almost out for the week at Chief Sealth International High School – and when its students return to class Monday, it will be a special occasion: The start of the fourth annual World Water Week “ideas festival.” You are invited to the keynote presentation Tuesday night by Chris Jordan, who addresses this year’s theme – plastic pollution – via a close-up look at one particular effect of the Pacific Ocean “garbage patch.” Here’s the official WWW overview:
Students, teachers, and members of Chief Sealth International High School community will come together for a week dedicated to raising awareness about global and local water issues during the fourth annual World Water Week. This year’s festival theme is plastic pollution.
On Tuesday, March 25, World Water Week presents keynote speaker, Chris Jordan. For the past few years, Jordan, a Seattle photographer, has immersed himself in a stunning environmental tragedy on Midway Island in the heart of the Pacific: the starvation of thousands of albatrosses who mistake floating plastic trash for food. Jordan will share his journey to Midway through stories, photos, and film, recounting his harrowing and redemptive journey into horror, beauty, grief, love, and — ultimately — healing. The event is co-sponsored by Town Hall Seattle and will take place in the Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium.
Students are currently fundraising to cover festival costs. Online contributions can be made here: http://www.global-visionaries.org/GLClassDonate
The 2014 World Water Week schedule includes:
● Monday/Tuesday, March 24-25: The student body will attend a student-led assembly that introduces the topic of global plastic pollution. The students will also participate in a synchronous all-school lesson about plastic pollution.
● Tuesday, March 25: Resource Fair with local water organizations from 6-7 p.m. with music and refreshments. Keynote lecture with Chris Jordan in the Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium at 7 p.m. This is the only public component of the festival.
● Wednesday, March 26: School-wide student conference with workshops for students with speakers from NOAA, King County Solid Waste Division, 5 Gyres, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, UW-Tacoma, Waste Management, Product Stewardship Institute, Tox-ick.org and others.
● Thursday, March 27: Students’ families will attend a Multicultural Night program that will feature activities about water and plastic pollution for all ages.
● Friday, March 28: Closing all-school assembly.
This festival is being organized by Chief Sealth International students Tasha Addington-Ferris, Aisaya Corbray, and Paloma Robertson along with teacher and mentor Noah Zeichner. The team works with a hard-working group of over 40 Chief Sealth students and teachers, in collaboration with several local organizations.
These students became interested in water issues after participating in the 2011 World Water Week festival put together by then-Sealth senior Molly Freed. In the summer of 2010, the Bezos Family Foundation selected Freed and Zeichner as Bezos Scholars — two of 12 scholar/educator pairs across the nation — to attend the Aspen Ideas Festival. At the festival, scholars were directed to create their own local Ideas Festival, and Freed and Zeichner developed the vision for World Water Week.
Here’s our coverage of the community kickoff night from that first-ever Sealth WWW; in 2012, we covered outdoor activities including a food walk and garden-building; last year’s focus was on sanitation issues, including a visit by world-famous “Mr. Toilet,” Jack Sim.