A Fierce Green Fire

A Fierce Green Fire

Thursday, April 19, 2017, at 6:30 pm

The Battle for a Living Planet is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change.

Directed and written by Mark Kitchell, Academy Award-nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep, the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2012, has won acclaim at festivals around the world.

A FIERCE GREEN FIRE chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future – and succeeding against all odds.

View the trailer for A FIERCE GREEN FIRE.

Meet the Panelists

Fred Gillen Jr.

Singer/Songwriter, Musician, Poet, Recording Engineer/Producer; Activist

Gillen began his music career in the late 1980’s as a bass guitarist with New York metro area bands performing at legendary NYC venues such as CBGB, Mercury Lounge, Irving Plaza, and the Lonestar Roadhouse. An extremely prolific songwriter, Gillen’s material covers a wide range of topics but tends to lean towards social commentary. His songs have also been featured on ABC-TV’s “All My Children,” MSG Network’s “NYC Soundtracks,” NPR’s “Car Talk,” and his version of Woody Guthrie’s “I Ain’t Got No Home” was featured on Pete Seeger’s “Pete Remembers Woody,” an album of Pete Seeger’s spoken stories about Woody Guthrie.

As a performer, Gillen has played solo shows all over the U.S. and Europe. He has built a substantial following with his spontaneity, soaring voice, storytelling, and ability to connect in many different venues and contexts. Besides his solo shows, he regularly performs with Hope Machine, Gillen & Turk, Hot Rod Pacer, and Guthrie’s Ghost.

Gillen is a recording engineer and producer, primarily working out of his own studio “Woody’s House” in Croton-on-Hudson.   He often co-writes with various members of his Hudson Valley music community and has served as President of Tribes Hill, a non-profit Hudson Valley music organization. Gillen’s community work also informs his songwriting. His social justice activism makes its way into the songs he writes and the stories he tells at his shows, as does all of the traveling he has done over the years.

Laurie Seeman

Director/Educator, Strawtown Studio; Co-Chair: Rockland Water Coalition, Chair: Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance & Member: Rockland Task Force on Water Resources Management

As an environmental advocate and activist, she is co-leader of the Rockland Water Coalition, a citizen-based group that stopped the Suez Corporation, after a nine-year effort, from building a desalination plant in Haverstraw Bay, the prime nursery of the Hudson River. She is the founding Chair of the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance and an appointed member of the Rockland Task Force on Water Resource Management.

As an art and nature educator, in 2002 Laurie founded Strawtown Studio, now a Not-for-Profit, with a staff of artist/ educators who bring innovative, place-based, Nature and Art education programs to children and communities. Her water advocacy work is largely inspired by interactive experiences with children in the waterways.

Over the past 8 years, Laurie has been a project leader for the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program’s citizen science glass eel migration project; the DEC Trees for Tribs program (a stream buffer planting project); and the Hudson Riverkeeper’s water quality monitoring program. Additionally, Laurie has been working with native leaders, both regionally and globally, on water stewardship. She is an apprenticing student of Joanna Macy, deep ecologist, a scholar of Buddhism and general systems theory and environmental activist.
With combined knowledge of art, science and earth-based spirituality she is working to build new partnerships and practices with citizens, scientists and government leaders for improving our relationships and interactions with the water.


Caryn McCurry

Life Coach; Organizer:Up & Up Action Initiative

Caryn is a Certified Life Coach having received her certification in 2004.  Her professional journey has taken her through various administrative and human resources positions at a number of different Wall Street firms. Caryn has a passion for working with people and sees her greatest contribution in her role as a life coach, helping people to navigate the transitions of life while staying connected to their values, utilizing their abilities and talents and working towards fulfilling their life purpose.

Caryn found the activist within her, just this year when she and fellow community member Jack Bergman, helped to create the Up & Up Action Initiative. The grassroots group’s mission is to hold a space for other community members to be action oriented post-election and help connect them to larger activist organizations already fighting the good fight. Caryn has most recently become active in local politics in Yorktown and referenced the Indivisible Guide as she navigates this new landscape.


Margaret Yonco-Haines

Attorney, Family/Divorce Mediator; Organizer: Take18

Margaret is a family and divorce mediator and financial neutral in collaborative law, practicing in Cold Spring NY.  Prior to this, Margaret worked as a corporate tax attorney.

Margaret got her start in politics when she organized Philipstown for Dean (a Dean “Meet Up” group)  in 2003. That group transformed into Philipstown for Democracy in 2004.

In 2005, she helped organize Take19, along with fellow Dean Meet Up leaders from across the District, with a purpose to energize the progressive base in the then 19th Congressional District (now the 18th District after 2010 redistricting ) with a goal to elect a progressive representative to Congress from the 19th. Take19, now Take18, expanded its focus to include State Senate races and also helps serve as a networking hub for progressive groups throughout the District.

Margaret is the chair of the Putnam County Chapter of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, which works to ensure access to voting and to preserve election integrity for all voters; she holds leadership positions in the Putnam County Democratic Committee,  her town’s Democratic Committee, and the Lower Hudson Valley chapter of the NYCLU.   As part of Take19, she also helped create the Hudson Valley Community Coalition, a coalition of groups from a variety of disciplines who worked in aspects of immigrant rights.