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League of Women Voters presents play, film

Jan. 13, 2013 @ 11:51 PM

Since its beginning in 1920, the League of Women Voters has encouraged, informed and actively participated in government, and has worked to make sure the public understands major public policy issues through education and outreach.
These days those efforts go well beyond just election days, and education can mean the Huntington chapter hosting everything from screenings of documentary films to even productions of original plays.
The League will do both at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, 469 Norway Ave., with a screening of the environmental film “Climate of Change,” which shows environmental action by communities worldwide.
Long-time member Elinore Taylor will also present her new short play, “Cassandra,” about the reaction of neighbors to mountaintop removal mining. The play features local actors Carolyn Thomas and Norm Branch.
Helen Gibbins, the president of the league’s local chapter, said the group is excited to be able to share an evening highlighting activism and responses of everyday people to changes in their environment.
“This is showing what people are doing all over the world,” Gibbins said. “It is happier than most films like this. Sometimes people think there is no use to do anything. It is so awful, why bother? But there are things that people can do.”
The play focuses on people from West Virginia, and several activists from the Mountain State are highlighted in “Climate of Change,” including Maria Gunnoe and the late Larry Gibson of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.
Others highlighted in the film include: 13-year old school children from India who are educating their neighbors about environmental problems as well as making changes; a public relations woman from London who promotes sustainability; an African leader who organizes a solar festival; and New Guinean timber operators who selectively log the trees rather than deforest its portion of the rainforest.
Known for hosting candidate debates and forums, the League also believes the public should hear different views on the issues facing our communities and our nation.
Gibbins, who joined up when she moved to Huntington in 1964, said the local chapter meets once a month and the meetings are open to anyone — man or woman — who is interested in governmental issues.
“There really aren’t too many other organizations in the country that do this kind of thing,” Gibbins said.
The public is invited to attend Wednesday’s screenings. For more information contact Gibbins at 304-736-3287. For more information about the League of Women Voters, go online at www.lwv.org.

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