Antonio Saillant Takes a Stand for Environmental Sustainability 

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Antonio Saillant, a sustainable filmmaker and environmental activist, delivered a call to action in his presentation to Grinnell College students on February 7, 2017.

"Let's all do our part to save the environment by supporting the major motion pictures, independent films, and theaters that are going green. Earth needs your help, and we need your help," says Antonio.

Antonio arrived on campus late February 5 only to discover that Grinnell College students were participating in a sit-in urging President Raynard Kington to endorse divesting the portion of Grinnell College's endowment in fossil fuels.

The five students that were involved in the sit-in were Eli Shepherd, Lucid Thomas, Holly Barton, Ross Floyd and Sean Haggerty and remained inside the Nollen House, office President Raynard Kington until Monday morning at 8 when they left on their own accord. Roughly 150 Grinnell College students particapted in a sit-in urging Kington to endorse divesting the portion of Grinnell College's endowment in fossil fuels.

Ross Floyd is one of the five students that remained in the office. Floyd attended Antonio's workshop and lecture about Sustainability in the Entertainment Business. Climate change presents a monumental challenge to industries throughout the world and Antonio believes this can be beaten by student awareness.

"There has been some progress to maybe have partial divesting from fossil fuels, which is good, but we want him to know there needs to be more," Floyd said. "Our President has a choice to stand with the Trump administration or he can stand with students and Iowa community members. Climate change is real, and it's a crisis."

As soon as Antonio arrived back in New York City he personally "led the charge" to get the students and their cause noticed nationally. "I think you should share the joy and I was happy to use social media and my contacts in the entertainment industry to spread the word about the Grinnell protest," says Antonio.

Antonio was amazed how much the students have advance knowledge of sustainable awareness, He learned so much from them indeed!...and made contact with so many great people.

"Inspired by the DivestGrinnell students." Oscar-winning actor and Environmental Advocate, Leonardo DiCaprio on Monday quote tweeted a video that was shared by @DivestGrinnell on Feb. 3 that details the reasons for their protests. DiCaprio has been vocal for the last few years about divesting from fossil fuels.

Should Antonio take credit for Leonardo DiCaprio retweet? Considering he just returned from Grinnell College from a speech on Climate Change and Sustainability in Entertainment. ... Actually, Antonio gives credit to the many students that alerted him of this amazing protest 'divestgrinnell' that took him to his social media and made sure he hit all his social contacts especially Leonardo DiCaprio.

"Climate Change is very here and a threat to our humanity and our world. We need to rid of Fossil fuel so lets take a stand and support 'divestgrinnell' students," says Antonio.

Credit should really go to Kaitie Hess, who is on the Wilson Committee for Innovation and Leadership for the Wilson Center at Grinnell College, for introducing Antonio to many of the students involved in 'divestgrinnell' and for arranging his campus tour, workshops and lecture.

Many thanks goes to 'Donald and WiniFrEd Wilson Center for Innovation & Leadership' for sponsoring the event and it was a delight for him in meeting the students and all Colleagues.

Antonio is on a quest, '50 States of Green,' a campaign that has him conducting, "One lecture at a university in every state to unite all scholars with environmental awareness."

For more information about Antonio's Lecture at Grinnell visit, Scarlet and Black website:

Photo by Kosuke Yo

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