Heroes, Sung and Unsung
Congratulations to Goldman Winner Hilton Kelley
It was a distinct honor to meet Hilton Kelley last night at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. On Monday, he received the Goldman Environmental Prize for North America at the San Francisco Opera House for his outstanding work to bring environmental justice to the community of Port Arthur, Texas, then he headed across the country for several receptions here on the east coast.
He was nominated for the award by the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. He grew up in Port Arthur, and returned there from the west coast several years ago to find his community suffering from poisonous air emissions from some of the nation's largest petrochemical companies. Read more about his wonderful work here.
Recognizing Unsung Heroes
Now is a great time to think about recognizing a fellow Sierra Club volunteer leader for exemplary service. In our midst are as yet unsung heroes who have made a significant contribution to the environment. Nominations for the Club's 2011 Annual Awards are due to the Honors and Awards Committee by June 1. There's a wide range of categories. Please check out the details here and consider nominating someone who inspires you!
PowerShift, Earth Day, and John Muir's Birthday
Speaking of inspiration, Washington, D.C. is coming alive this weekend as young activists converge on the nation's capital for the 2011 Power Shift. This annual event brings thousands of student and youth activists together for trainings, action and lobbying, as its leaders say "demanding real change on energy and climate and refusing to stop until it is achieved." I am looking forward to reuniting with Sierra Student Coalition friends meeting new ones, and reaching a whole new level of learning about activism at my first Power Shift.
Many of us are also busy planning or preparing to participate in Earth Day celebrations and actions next week. Earth Day is April 22, the day after John Muir's birthday, of course. If you don't already have something lined up, I hope you will find an opportunity to celebrate the natural world we live in. We all need to carve out time to explore and enjoy the planet we work hard to protect.
To celebrate John Muir's birthday, I urge you to watch John Muir in the New World, a new film on PBS American Masters airing on Monday, April 18.
Happy Earth Day!
—Robin Mann, Sierra Club President
P.S. What does coal have to do with...underwear? You'll have to ask the students at Miami University in Ohio, who staged a pants-less rally to “Expose Coal” in front of their campus coal plant on March 31. Or you can watch the video below.