Marching Coast-to-Coast for Climate Action

February 25, 2019

Event Information

Time: 7:30 pm
Date: Monday, March 4
Location: Noyce Science Center, Room 2021

Ed Fallon, climate activist and former state legislator from northeast Des Moines, will address the urgent need for action on climate disruption.

Ed Fallon

Ed Fallon

For over thirty years and in various contexts Fallon has fought for a wide range of progressive causes, including peace and non-violence, marriage equality, LGBTQ rights, family farming, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy. He has been a leading activist against urban sprawl and the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Fallon’s efforts in relation to climate change date back more than a decade. In 2013, he spearheaded the Great March for Climate Action and, in 2014, led 35 climate activists on a 3,100-mile trek from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. Fallon was one of five marchers to walk every step of the way. His book about the experience, Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim, was released in December, 2018.

In the spring of 2015, Fallon walked across Iowa for 400 miles following the length of the Dakota Access Pipeline, building a strong network of landowners and farmers opposed to the pipeline. He continues to work with many of them on related land-use and environmental issues. In November 2015, Ed walked 200 miles from Normandy Beach to Paris in advance of the UN Climate Summit.

Fallon currently serves as the director of Bold Iowa, a 501(c)(4) advocacy group that builds rural-urban coalitions to fight climate change, prevent the abuse of eminent domain, protect Iowa's soil, air, and water, and promote non-industrial renewable energy. A key priority of Bold Iowa has been to build alliances that move beyond the usual white, middle-class base typical of most environmental organizations. Much of Bold Iowa’s work is with Native communities, conservative farm communities, and — building on the base Ed acquired as a state lawmaker — Iowa’s black and Latino leadership.

Born in California and raised in Massachusetts, Fallon dropped out of college and traveled the world for six years. He settled in Des Moines in 1984, earned a B.A. in religious studies at Drake University while immersing himself in the peace movement. From 1993-2006 Fallon served in the Iowa Legislature representing residents of downtown Des Moines and the surrounding neighborhoods on the city’s northeast side. In 1998 he founded 1000 Friends of Iowa — a land-use, farmland protection, and anti-urban sprawl group — and served as executive director for five years.

In 2009, Fallon began a career as a talk show host and launched the Fallon Forum. The program remains one of the few independent talk shows in Iowa, and currently broadcasts on four Iowa radio stations and on stations in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Fayette, Missouri. The program is also available through the Pacifica Network and as a podcast.


Ed Fallon’s visit is jointly sponsored by Grinnell College’s Center for Prairie Studies, Environmental Studies Concentration, and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

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