November 18, 2011
The Goldman Environmental Foundation and the Green Belt Movement hosted a memorial service for 1991 Goldman Prize winner Wangari Maathai on Wednesday night. The service was held at the Delancey Street Theatre in San Francisco.
Leaders from the environmental and business communities as well as individuals who had known and supported her work shared heartfelt eulogies. Speakers at the event included: Douglas Goldman, president of the Goldman Environmental Foundation; Roger Barnett, CEO of Shaklee Corporation; Musimbi Kanyoro, CEO of the Global Fund for Women; and former Vice President Al Gore. Bay Area musician Melanie Demore performed an original version of the spiritual “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”
Following the service, guests mingled and shared personal stories of Maathai. Many spoke of her trademark radiant smile, her fearless nature, and an incredible ability to inspire others to achieve the insurmountable.
“Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt movement planted over 40 million trees around the world, but the most important ones she planted are the ones that are taking root among all the environmental activists fighting to protect our natural resources,” said Doug Goldman.