Discover the story and legacy of Wangari Maathai: environmental activist, political advocate, first woman in East/Central Africa to earn a Ph.D, and first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
We will watch the documentary "Taking Root", which tells the story of the Green Belt Movement which was started by Professor Maathai to address the needs of rural Kenyan women 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. This movement empowered women to address these issues by working together to plant trees which would help to prevent erosion, store rainwater, and provide food and firewood, while earning money for their work. As the Green Belt Movement grew, Professor Maathai introduced seminars in civic and environmental education to empower participants to change their political, economic, and environmental circumstances, and the movement began to advocate at the national level for democratic rights, release of political prisoners, and more accountability from Kenya's leaders. Today, the Green Belt Movement continues to advocate for international environmental and political justice while tackling issues such as climate change, deforestation, and community empowerment.
After the film, learn about careers in environmental science from panelists including:
Lindsey Christianson, Senior Resource Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension
Christina McLaughlin, Urban & Community Forestry Partnership Coordinator at the NYS DEC
Amanda Dillon, Field Ecologist & Entomologist at Albany Pine Bush Preserve