Loeb Fellowship 50th Anniversary Symposium

Loeb 50 logo overlaid on a cloudy sky above a city at sunset.

Event Description

With its long history of advancing positive social outcomes in the US and around the world, the Loeb Fellowship is eager to celebrate its 50th anniversary and alumni weekend, October 6-9, 2022. In celebration of its 50th year, the Loeb Fellowship is hosting a reunion weekend for its 400+ alumni, as well as hosting a series of discussions examining the social impacts of the built and natural environments. Throughout the weekend, significant voices will convene to share reflections, wisdom, and insight with the Harvard GSD and broader community, and also engage directly with the Loeb Fellowship on this momentous occasion in its history. Loeb Alumni are invited to register for the weekend on the Loeb Fellowship website.

The celebration features two keynote events that are open to the public.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson with Virginia Prescott
6:30 PM, Thursday, October 6
Piper Auditorium
*Masks required for the in-person audience.

Loeb Alumna Virginia Prescott LF’02 will sit down with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson AB’02 for a wide-ranging and intimate conversation about climate joy and climate action.

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson stands with her hands in her pockets. She wears all black.

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and Brooklyn native. She is co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for the future of coastal cities. She co-edited the bestselling climate anthology All We Can Save, co-founded The All We Can Save Project, and co-created the Spotify/Gimlet climate solutions podcast How to Save a Planet. Recently, she co-authored the Blue New Deal, a roadmap for including the ocean in climate policy. Previously, she was executive director of the Waitt Institute, developed policy at the EPA and NOAA, and taught as an adjunct professor at New York University.  

Dr. Johnson earned a BA from Harvard University in environmental science and public policy, and a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in marine biology. Her writing has been published widely, including in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Scientific American. She serves on the advisory boards of Environmental Voter Project and Scientific American, and on the board of directors for GreenWave and Patagonia. Recent recognitions include the Schneider Award for climate communication and Time’s 100 Next List. Outside magazine called her “the climate leader we need.”  

Dr. Johnson’s forthcoming book has the working title What If We Get It Right?: Visions of Climate Futurism. Find her @ayanaeliza. 


Virginia Prescott LF ’02 is President of School of Humans audio division, producer of the hit podcasts Hell and Gone, Astray and Sisters of the Underground for iHeart Media.

Virginia is a Edward R. Murrow and Gracie Award-winning radio and podcast Host. Her history in public media includes hosting On Second Thought and the Atlanta History Center’s Virtual Author Talks series for Georgia Public Broadcasting and Word of Mouth, Writers on A New England Stage and the Top Ten Podcasts Civics 101 and The 10-Minute Writers Workshop for New Hampshire Public Radio. Prior to joining NHPR, she was editor, producer, and director on NPR programs On Point and Here & Now, and Director of Interactive media for New York Public Radio.

Throughout her radio career, Virginia has worked to build sustainable independent radio in the developing world and has trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. As an Audio Artist, she created sound and story installations for Project Row Houses, the Arsenal Center for the Arts, and MIT’s Center for Reflective Community Practice. She was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley and the recipient of a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University.


Soyini Vinelle Guyton and Seitu Ken Jones
9:00 AM, Saturday, October 8
*This event is in-person for Loeb Alumni only. Members of the public may watch online by entering their emails in the video-streaming box at the top of this page. 

Artists and partners Seitu Ken Jones LF ’02 and Soyini Vinelle Guyton will share collaborative and individual projects from their interdisciplinary practices.

Portrait of Seitu Ken Jones and Soyini Vinelle Guyton.Seitu Ken Jones is a multidisciplinary artist, advocate and maker and 4th generation Minnesotan, based in St. Paul. His 30-year collaboration with his wife and fellow artist, Soyini Vinelle Guyton, and the sculptural installations they co-authored, both inspire and inform the viewer/participant. Working between the arts and public spheres, Seitu channels the spirit of radical social movements into experiences that foster critical conversations and nurture more just and vibrant communities from the soil up. He is recognized as a dynamic collaborator and a creative force for civic engagement. “My work is a testament of radical love for our Beloved Community — the local community, our ancestral community, and the community of innate humanity.”  

As a poet, Soyini’s work connects with land to ground herself and to connect with her known relatives and unknown ancestors whose love of the land and whose labor on the land, forced or chosen, informs her interest in poetry that focuses on the interdependence and interaction between people and land and the surrounding environment. Growing up in rural South Dakota, Soyini developed a love for the environment and an appreciation for the healing, solace, and wonder of the capacity of the land and the environment, and the necessity of nature in our lives.  

Working alone, Seitu created over 40 public artworks, across America, while Soyini’s poetry and prose have been published in collections for over 25 years. In addition, Soyini created poetry for sculptures in the Saint Paul Cultural Garden. She most recently published an artist book, entitled Shadows at the Crossroads, featuring poems from the Walker Art Center installation. Together, the duo created permanent public art works for the Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis, the Dale Street Station on the Greenline LRT that connects Minneapolis and St. Paul, Walker Art Center’s Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Pillsbury Hall at the University of Minnesota 

In collaboration with two other artists, Seitu and Soyini co-founded Frogtown Park and Farm, a 5.5-acre urban farm and 6-acre park in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Frogtown Farm epitomizes our belief that food, greenspace, nature, and trees should be accessible in all neighborhoods. 

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].