Friday, May 3, 2013

Feel Good Friday - Wangari Maathai

Last week we talked about a group planting trees in San Francisco. A recent Facebook post by a friend inspired me to spend this week talking about a woman planting trees in Kenya.

Wangari Maathai
Her name is Wangari Maathai and she was an environmental and political activist. She founded the Green Belt Movement (GMB) in Kenya in 1977 "to respond to the needs of rural Kenyan woman who reported that their streams were drying up, their food supply was less secure, and they had to walk further and further to get firewood for fuel and fencing. GMB encouraged the women to work together to grow seedlings and plant trees to bind the soil, store rainwater, provide food and firewood, and receive a small monetary token for their work." (

She's the author of four books, the subject of a documentary film called Taking Root and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her contribution to "sustainable development, democracy and peace".

She was super bad ass and (because I'm short on time) I encourage you to follow the links below to learn more about her or buy one of her books!

Learn more about the Green Belt Movement:

Like GBM on Facebook:

Read a book: "Unbowed, A Memoir"

In her own words, "We have a responsibility to protect the rights of generations, of all species, that cannot speak for themselves today. The global challenge of climate change requires that we ask no less of our leaders, or ourselves."


sustainerNYC said...

Thanks for the concise intro to this courageous leader's work. I'll be awed and inspired by her til my last breath! Btw, Unbowed is an inspiring and wisely written read for anyone curious about the unstoppable combo of personal empowerment and high ideals.

sustainerNYC said...
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