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College Professor Champions Mahwah Nonprofit In Africa

Sandy Shevack
Sandy Shevack Photo Credit: MEVO

MAHWAH, N.J. — Sandy Shevack is taking the nonprofit Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization (MEVO) international.

Next week, Shevack, an adjunct professor at Ramapo College who serves on MEVO's board of directors, will depart on a five-day "learning and sharing" expedition to the United Africa Community Center in Tanzania.

The Center is run by former Black Panthers Peter and Charlotte O'Neal, who focus on healing the region by providing a diverse array of free services in education and preservation.

The couple's work has been featured in the award-winning documentary " A Panther In Africa ."

Shevack said MEVO, which promotes sustainability and environmental preservation in northern New Jersey, has a lot in common with the O'Neals' mission

"Many of the issues they are dealing with over there we are dealing with right here with MEVO," Shevack, 61, told Daily Voice. "I want to see the kind of empowerment they bring to the people over there and hopefully bring some of that back here."

Shevack considers his life's work to be ecology sustainability and social justice.

He said MEVO, which he joined two years ago, fits his worldview perfectly.

"Growing up in the sixties clarified for me that citizens have to be active in creating a better world," the Passaic native said. "So when I heard about this group of young people who are taking the initiative to preserve our environment I knew I had to be a part of it."

As an educator, preservationist and MEVO board member, he considers his trip "necessary."

"When it comes to preserving the environment we are all interconnected," Shevack said. "MEVO may be a local organization but we have a global vision for how we want the world to be, and I need to share that vision."

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