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Enlightening visit by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

March 2013
The Earth Charter Initiative

On March 11th, 2013 Yale University Professor’s Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, co-founders and co-directors of the Forum on Religion and Ecology, visited Costa Rica to show their film, Journey of the Universe, and discuss the relationships between humanity, life on Earth and the Universe Story. The film has been greatly influenced by the Earth Charter and it reflects many of the Earth Charter’s ethics on universal responsibility, ecological integrity, and respect, reverence, and care.

In the afternoon of the 11th, they presented the award-winning film at the Earth Charter Center for ESD on the UPEACE campus. Approximately 40 people participated in the presentation and the following discussion was lively. In the evening, they presented the film at La Salle University in San Jose to an audience of around 100 people. The following evening, March 12th, they also presentated the film at the National Technical University to an audience of approximately 150 people. At all the venues, the film and its presenters were well received and the ensuing discussions were fruitful and thought-provoking.

In several of the presentations, Mary Evelyn quoted a passage from the Earth Charter preamble, which she feels represents a fundamental aspect of her work with the Journey of the Universe film and the Story of the Universe educational initiative: "Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life." This concept lies at the heart of her work to provoke people to question their place in the universe and on planet Earth, and motivate them to take care of our home planet.

The presentations of the film in Costa Rica mark the Latin American premieres and the first time the film was shown with its Spanish subtitles. It was clear from the audience reception that the film and accompanying discussions are excellent learning opportunities and the film on its own offers a powerful message.

This was part of an effort of the Earth Charter UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development to promote knowledge-sharing between North America and Latin America.

You can find out more about the film at the official Web site.

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