It’s not hard to imagine why Kim Wasserman (2013, United States) was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Waterkeeper Alliance Conference earlier this month. Since her victory shutting down two coal power plants in Chicago’s south side, she continues to defend her community’s right to a clean environment — including water. For almost 20 years she has been a vocal advocate for environmental justice, giving stirring speeches and interviews like this one for the Climate Reality Project.
With the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), she is addressing the water legacy left behind by polluting industry. In addition, they are ensuring that new development plans such as Chicago’s Sanitation Canal take into consideration the effects the projects have on community health and the environment.
Kim was able to use the Conference as a learning opportunity around messaging, best practices and campaign strategies for water-related campaigns:
“It was an amazing opportunity to meet amazing advocates, litigators and organizers from across the world fighting for our water. To be able to share the story of our fight for environmental justice in Little Village and lessons learned was a true honor. The reality is this work is hard, and many have lost their lives in a fight for our earth, our rights, and our justice. The Conference gave us both the space to grieve the loss of our fighters and the space to re-energize, build, share and remind ourselves that we are in this fight together. Air, water, land, all of our fights are interconnected and we must take care of ourselves in order to take care of our communities and planet.”
President of Waterkeeper Alliance Robert F. Kennedy, Jr (left) with Kim Wasserman (center) and Executive Director Marc Yaggi (right). (Photo: Waterkeeper Alliance)
LVEJO is harnessing the power of young people to develop a local re-development plan for Chicago’s Sanitation Canal. Whether you are from Chicago or elsewhere, discover how you can get involved in their work.
The Goldman Environmental Prize provides support to former Prize winners seeking to broaden their networks though their attendance at conferences, meetings and other events important to their work.