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Jane Goodall discusses the power of youth

World-renowned primatologist, conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace, Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, recently visited Willamette for a discussion with David Miller, host of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s, “Think Out Loud.”

Her talk, entitled “The Power of Youth is Global,” attracted a broad audience and delivered meaningful messages for listeners of all ages and backgrounds.

After greeting the audience with a chimpanzee call, Goodall spoke to a breadth of topics — everything from insights on motherhood and society, to her environmental work with youth in over 130 countries, and of course, to anecdotes of her life and love of primates.

Goodall was inspired to travel to Africa by Edgar Rice Burrough’s character Tarzan, who Goodall calls her hero. Of her pioneering journey to Gombe, Tanzania, she says, “it was my dream — I didn’t feel brave, it felt like coming home.”

Today, she works to conserve lands like those in Gombe where she found her “spiritual home” with chimpanzees.

Goodall discussed the growth and future of Roots & Shoots, the Jane Goodall Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian group that empowers young people around the globe to create positive change.

“We haven’t inherited this planet from our parents; we’ve borrowed it from our children,” Goodall says. “But we haven’t been borrowing; we’ve been stealing. Roots & Shoots is raising young people that understand the vital importance of an individual in this life, that every single one of us makes a difference every single day.”

Goodall’s lecture complements the tradition of distinguished speakers visiting Willamette. On Nov. 15, the Atkinson Lecture Series will welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Suzan-Lori Parks.