When Texas-based oil conglomerate Tesoro-Savage proposed a $200 million rail-to-ship terminal at Washington’s Port of Vancouver in 2013, it was welcomed by residents of the blue-collar community. But Linda Garcia, galled by commissioners’ unanimous vote to build North America’s largest “dirty-energy” waystation while ignoring risks of accidents and oil spills, started organizing. In 2018, port commissioners canceled Tesoro’s lease; in 2019, Garcia received the Goldman Environmental Prize.
Emerging Storytellers of Science & Activism
The Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship supports young and promising scientists, adventurers and journalists as they venture across the globe to document and share some of today’s most pressing stories through multimedia platforms. The Goldman Environmental Prize honors grassroots environmental heroes for significant and sustained efforts to protect and enhance the environment — often at great personal risk. And the Center for Earth Ethics works to cultivate the public consciousness needed to make changes in policy and culture that will establish a world where value is measured according to the sustained wellbeing of all people and our planet.
During this presentation, winners and fellows from these prestigious organizations will take the stage to share their work — offering a glimpse into some of the most groundbreaking storytelling and environmental activism of the modern age. Talks will be interspersed with films and other media.
Fulbright-Nat Geo Fellow
Itinerant sketch biologist Abby McBride explores nature and science through the artform she dubs “sketchbiologizing.” She has drawn nature illustrations in New York City, bird-blogged across the western United States, studied birds on an uninhabited Galapagos island, researched invasive ecology and sketched, among other things, icebergs in Iceland, babblers in Borneo and giraffes in Kenya.
Fulbright-Nat Geo Fellow
As a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Kevin McLean is particularly interested in expanding human knowledge of hard-to-reach species and ecosystems, as well as making science communication more palatable to public audiences. He is currently studying canopy wildlife in Malaysia and the Ecuadorian Amazon.
In Person: Abby McBrideKevin McLeanCatherine Flowers
Center for Earth Ethics Fellow
When Catherine Flowers found her calling working to address the root causes of poverty in her native Alabama by seeking sustainable solutions, she found herself at the intersection of civil rights and environmental justice. Today, she is a senior fellow of Environmental Justice & Civic Engagement at the Center for Earth Ethics and advocate for the right to clean water and sanitation who has been internationally recognized. She is the subject of the film The Accidental Environmentalist: Catherine Flowers.
The Accidental Environmentalist: Catherine Flowers
After visiting a raw sewage site in her native Lowndes County, Ala., Catherine Flowers, founder and executive director of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise, contracts a mysterious rash. Flowers, whose work focuses on poverty and race, wonders if it’s a disease American doctors don’t test for. Soon she — and 34.5 percent of county residents tested — are diagnosed with hookworm, a sewage-harbored disease long thought eradicated in the U.S. Galvanized, Flowers brings the issue to the worldwide stage — affecting change and adding environmentalist to her bona fides.
In parts of Africa, it is believed that the body parts of people with albinism can be used in witchcraft to bring good fortune. As a result, ritual attacks, mutilation and murder of people with albinism is far too common. In Malawi, albino street musician Lazarus Chigiwandali expresses the pain, ostracization and peril of people like himself through music. With a hand-hewn banjo, singular style and voice like a clarion, his sound is catching on. This film follows his rising career, which is built on a message we could all benefit from: “Let us all be loving to one another.”