Skip to content

This year's honorees are reshaping the future. Join us.


Kim Wasserman wows at the 2016 Waterkeeper Alliance Conference

June 21, 2016

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.

As both Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago and Waterkeeper Alliance attest, Kim is “a force to be reckoned with!” (Photo: Waterkeeper Alliance)

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. 

Related Posts


Prigi Arisandi Embarks on River Tour, Raising Awareness for Indonesia’s Plastic Problem

April 13, 2022

Prigi Arisandi (Indonesia, 2011) has embarked on a 300-day tour of Indonesia’s rivers, documenting the status of 68 unique waterways. Starting on March 1, 2022, the journey will take Prigi and his team at Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation Foundation (Ecoton) across 68 rivers spanning the entire Indonesian archipelago, from Sumatra to Papua. Many of…

Read more

What Environmental Justice Means—and Why it Matters

January 4, 2022

Environmental activism isn’t just about protecting the natural world—it’s also about protecting people. Nowhere is this concept better illustrated than with the environmental justice movement. At its most basic level, environmental justice asserts that environmental issues and social justice are inextricably linked. What is Environmental Justice? Environmental justice is the idea that people of all…

Read more

Prize Winners Today: How Hilton Kelley is Building Community against a Backdrop of Environmental Injustice

October 19, 2021 – By Ellen Lomonico

The day before our interview, environmental justice champion Hilton Kelley (United States, 2011) was celebrating his granddaughter’s birthday—“the big 10.” With powerful, broad shoulders and a thick, white beard, it’s easy to see how the former actor embodies the role of a slightly intimidating but nonetheless jovial grandfather. It’s a responsibility that he holds for…

Read more