Margrete Strand Rangnes, Senior Trade Representative for the Sierra Club's Responsible Trade Program, and David Foster, Executive Director of the Blue-Green Alliance, will together explain one of the most significant environmental developments in the past decade--the emerging alliance between the environmental movement and organized labor. The presentation will take place from noon to 1p.m., Saturday, April 21 at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) in Montague Hall, room 70.
"Margrete Rangnes and David Foster are two of the international leaders for the entire blue-green movement," according to Wy Spano, Director of the Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership at the University of Minnesota Duluth. "They have been at the forefront of changing the political dynamics of environmentalism, and their story is a fascinating one."
Margrete Strand Rangnes of the Sierra Club is a native Norwegian who first became involved in globalization issues when she worked in the student mobilization against Norway joining the European Union in 1994. In 2004, after seven years with Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, Rangnes joined the Sierra Club as its Senior Trade Representative for the Responsible Trade Program. Rangnes co-facilitates the "Our World Is Not For Sale" network, the premier international network on World Trade Organization (WTO) issues. She has worked extensively with government, the media, and other organizations addressing trade issues in the U.S. and abroad.
Blue-Green Alliance Executive Director, David Foster, was the United Steelworkers (USW) Director of District #11, a 13 state region, from 1990-2006. District #11 of the USW has a diverse membership of 43,000, comprised of iron ore and other mineral miners, steel, aluminum, tire, oil and gas workers, as well as health care employees. His responsibilities included serving on the union's International Executive Board and negotiating with many of the country's largest steel, iron ore and aluminum companies. Foster has spoken on trade issues to labor and management audiences in the U.S., Canada, and Japan, and he co-chaired the USW's initiative to establish a global network of unions in the aluminum industry in 2003.
He chaired the USW's International Executive Board Task Force on the Environment and authored its 2006 policy statement. In 2004, he was awarded the Jane Lehman Bagley Award from the Tides Foundation for his work building labor/environmental coalitions in the United States. He serves on the Board of Directors of Oregon Steel, Inc., a $1.5 billion specialty steel company with operations in the United States and Canada. He also teaches classes on unions and globalization as an adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and on advocacy and political leadership at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He has a BA from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
This is one of four Public Affairs Lectures for the academic year hosted by the Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership at UMD. All are made available to the general public. The Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership offers a Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) degree through weekend classes designed for working adults from throughout Minnesota. There are currently 58 students from through out the state enrolled in the program.