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Thomas Linzey is part of speaker series on energy and the environment

YOUNGSTOWN — Thomas Linzey, executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, presents “A Community Revolution: Elevating the Rights of People and Communities Over Corporations” at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Room 2000 of Moser Hall at Youngstown State University.

The free lecture is part of the Fall Semester Speaker Series on Energy and the Environment organized by Ray Beiersdorfer, professor of geological and environmental sciences.

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a nonprofit law firm that has provided free legal services to more than 500 local governments and nonprofit organizations since 1995. Linzey is a cum laude graduate of Widener Law School and a three-time recipient of the law school’s public-interest law award.

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He has been a finalist for the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award and is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Farmers Union’s Golden Triangle Legislative Award.

He is a co-founder of the Daniel Pennock Democracy School, taught in 24 states across the country, which has graduated more than 5,000 lawyers, activists and municipal officials. It assists groups to create community campaigns that elevate the rights of those communities over rights claimed by corporations.

Linzey is the recent author of “Be The Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community” (Gibbs-Smith 2009), and was featured in Leonardo DiCaprio’s and Tree Media’s film, “11th Hour.” He assisted the Ecuadorian constitutional assembly in 2008 to adopt the world’s first constitution recognizing the independently enforceable rights of ecosystems and is a frequent lecturer at conferences across the country.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones and The Nation magazine, and he was chosen in 2007 as one of Forbes magazine’s “Top Ten Revolutionaries.” Linzey lives in Brighton, Mass.