images description

In Creating Our Third Century, Taft is helping to forge the critical mass necessary for a sustained program in water studies, especially in regards to discussions on rights, usage, and responsibility. One way is through a partnership Taft has forged with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural program to develop a documentary entitled, "The Intimate Realities of Warer." This film which helps explain many of the challenges Kenyans face in trying to find clean, safe water to use daily, life activities -- from drinking to bathing to washing clothes. In addition to the documentary, the Taft's public humanities research group's work helped establish a series of important talks centered on H2O  as it relates to water. 

Now, we are proud to announce that this film is already making its mark throughout throughout the world. During the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO Water Programmes at the 38th UNESCO General Conference, which took place in November. Program officials showed "The Intimate Realities of Water" as a part of the celebratory event. Officials also presented the H2Otalks at the 50th anniversary.

The documentary will also be screened in Australia during the "City of Sidney's Art & About Public Art Program," which will be from Feb. 11-28, 2016. The program is a way to commemorate the country's new H20: Water Bar, a laboratory-style installation which allows visitors to sample water sourced from diverse regions in Australia. For more information, please click here to visit the H20: Water Bar's Web site.

Amy Townsend-SmallAmy Townsend-Small

Dr. Townsend-Small researches the human impacts on global carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles; feedbacks between the carbon cycle, the hydrologic cycle, and climate change; greenhouse gas emissions and water quality associated with energy production; stable isotopes and radiocarbon dating. Her current research explores the sources and fluxes of methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas. For more on Dr. please see her research profile here.

Tara Houska

Tara Houska imageTara Houska is Ojibwe of Saulteaux, Couchiching First Nation. She is the a founding board member of Not Your Mascots, non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the misappropriation of Indigenous identity, imagery and culture, and is also currently the National Campaigns Director for Honor the Earth, an environmental justice group. Previously, Houska has served as the Native American advisor to the Bernie Sanders, Tribal Attorney, and lobbyist for Native American concerns. In her TAFTtalk, Houska discusses her work with Honor the Earth and fighting for trial rights and sustainable land practices.

Malcolm LondonMalcolm London

Called the Gil-Scott Heron of his generation by Cornel West, Malcolm London is an internationally recognized poet, activist, and educator. A member of the Young Adult Council of the prestigious Steppenwolf Theater, he has appeared on PBS for the first ever televised TED Talk with John Legend and Bill Gates, and has shared stages with actor Matt Damon and rapper Lupe Fiasco as a part of the The People Speak Live! cast. He also appears on Season 2 of TVOne’s Verses & Flow. In 2011, Malcolm London won the Louder Than A Bomb youth poetry slam in his native Chicago, in both individual and team performance. Malcolm’s work has been featured on national outlets including CBS, NPR, Huffington Post, The Root, and the Chicago Tribune. London attends University of Illinois at Chicago, and is a member and co-chair of BYP100 Chicago Chapter, a national organization of Black activists. London is currently devoted to being a youth advocate and coordinator of The Know Your Rights Project out of Northwestern Law School, a project dedicated to educating young people on their rights within the juvenile justice system, and continuing his work as teaching artist on staff at Young Chicago Authors, a program working to transform the lives of young people by cultivating their voices through writing, publication, and performance education.


Bill McKibben photo

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages. He is founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities; Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.” A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes frequently a wide variety of publications around the world, including the New York Review of Books, National Geographic, and Rolling Stone. He lives in the mountains above Lake Champlain with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern.

Alison AucielloAuciello

Alison Auciello is an organizer for Food & Water Watch in Ohio. Her background is in community outreach and fundraising around environmental and consumer rights issues. Before joining Food & Water Watch, Alison worked with Ohio Citizen Action on manufacturing and landfill pollution issues, most extensively on coal pollution issues. She contributed to successful campaigns to stop new coal plants from being built in Ohio, advocated for closure of the oldest and dirtiest coal plants, and worked toward an end to mountaintop removal.


Vernon Scarborough

Dr. Vernon Scarborough is an American academic anthropologist and archaeologist, known for his research and publications on settlement, land use and water management practices of archaic and Pre-industrial society. Scarborough is a Distinguished Research Professor and Charles P. Taft Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati in Ohio. His topical interests remain settlement, land use, and water management in the context of the archaic state.

Skip Navigation Linksevents & programs > H20talks