Alverno College
Press Release

Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist, Venice Williams of Alice’s Garden and more to lead the 2015 Alverno Community Conference

This year’s theme, “A Tapestry of Sustainability,” features over 30 interactive sessions

By - Oct 1st, 2015 02:40 pm

Milwaukee (October 1, 2015) – The Alverno Community Conference, an annual day of learning that provides an opportunity for the extended Alverno community to share current research around a central theme, will be held on Friday, October 9, from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The event is open to the public and will explore the theme: A Tapestry of Sustainability. Through workshops, discussions, and creative activities, the conference aims to connect our local and global sustainability efforts while providing an opportunity for thought-provoking discussion. Participants can choose from more than 30 topics – all connected to sustainability – during three sessions. Half-day and full-day registration options are available.

The day will begin with an opening session hosted by Venice Williams, award-winning executive director of Alice’s Garden, an urban, community garden that provides models of sustainable farming, community cultural development and economic agricultural enterprises for the global landscape.

A keynote presentation will be given by Linda and Mark Keane, co-founders of Leaders in design education, the Keanes create animated films, lecture and publish about the aesthetics of sustainability and need for eco-literacy. Their presentation, Eco-literacy and the Imagination: Networked Sustainable Practices, will explore the connections between the places we love and the complex systems in our natural and built environments.

A plenary panel will offer their perspectives in response to the keynote address and consider how each of us can promote a sustainable, livable community. The panelists are Sharon Adams, co-founder of Walnut Way Conservation Corp.; John Norquist, former Milwaukee mayor and head of Congress for the New Urbanism; and Jessy Servi, sustainability manager at Outpost Natural Foods. The panel will be moderated by Gary Grunau, Alverno College Board of Trustees, Milwaukee Riverwalk board chair and board director of the Milwaukee Water Council.

Participants may also choose to take part in the Growing Power lunch. For an $8 fee, diners will be treated to a salad lunch featuring greens, apples, yellow peppers, tomatoes, roasted soy nuts and warm rolls. All produce will be from Milwaukee’s own Growing Power urban farm. Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, will make a presentation during the lunch. An exclusive environmental tour of Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery will also be offered in the afternoon.

Some of the speakers at the 2015 Alverno Community Conference include:

For more information about the 2015 Alverno Community Conference, or to register, visit Additional questions can be directed to 414-382-6087, or email

About Alverno College

Alverno College, a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college for women, exists to promote the personal and professional development of its students. The college has earned accolades and respect internationally for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, and has consulted with three U.S. presidential administrations on accountability and outcomes in higher education. For the last six years, Alverno College was ranked one of the top five schools in the Midwest doing “the best job of educating undergrads” by U.S. News & World Report. Educators from throughout the world visit Alverno to learn about its proven, student-centered teaching methods.

Alverno offers more than 60 major areas of study, including graduate programs in education, nursing, community psychology and business that are open to women and men. For more information about Alverno, visit or call 414-382-6100.

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