Dear Friend of Earth Island
Everywhere we look, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are, at long last, helping shine a light on the many challenges women face in their personal and professional lives that often go unspoken and unacknowledged. The environmental movement isn’t exempt from this malaise. It’s true that many of us who care for this planet and all its great and small creatures hold progressive values: We believe in equal rights and equal opportunity and equal representation. But, like everyone else, we too are part of a society that condones, even thrives on, maintaining a very clearly gendered social order. As such, we are as much subject to its insidious influences as the next person.
Given the great churning around gender rights that’s happening right now and given our country’s current political leadership – which is so terribly misaligned with both the environmental and gender equality movements, and so intent on turning back the clock on everything from climate change mitigation to respect for women’s reproductive rights – our small editorial team at Earth Island Journal decided the time was ripe to dedicate the entire autumn issue of our magazine to exploring the intersections between environmental rights and women’s rights.
The Journal’s extended, 68-page women and environment issue has just hit newsstands. This special edition, which includes reportage and personal reflections by environmental journalists, writers, and well-known activists, such as Terry Tempest Williams, Annie Leonard, Kathleen Dean Moore, Osprey Orielle Lake, and Kandi White, not only highlights the challenges women face in the environmental movement, but also celebrates women’s leadership and explores ways in which our movement can be a stronger champion of women’s rights.
To my knowledge, no other environmental magazine in the United States has delved into the subject quite this way. That’s exactly what makes Earth Island Institute so special. We might be small, but we are scrappy, and bold, and we always, always, have our ears on the ground, thanks to Earth Island Institute’s global network of grassroots activists who keep us informed of the various threats to our planet much before they become banner headlines in mainstream media.
While choosing which story to highlight, which malfeasance to investigate, we always keep in mind the words of our founder, David Brower, who said, “polite conservationists leave no mark save the scars upon the Earth that could have been prevented had they stood their ground.”
As an Earth Island supporter, I’m sure you appreciate the value of this kind of bold, forward-thinking journalism and powerful storytelling that holds everyone, even our own movement, accountable. Which is why I’m asking you to make a special gift of support today to help us continue the trailblazing work that we do.
Every three months, our print magazine offers readers well-written, thoughtful insights into the many complex and emerging environmental quandaries facing the world today. In the past year, our print features have, among other issues, helped shed light on a pioneering bonobo rehabilitation project that could serve as a blueprint for community-driven conservation in Central Africa; reported on how Venezuela’s decision to open up the Orinoco Belt to mining threatens the Amazon rainforest; explored whether Cuba’s petroleum-free adaptations – like bicycling, urban gardening, and organic farming – will endure as the long-isolated nation opens up to global markets; and narrated a compelling story about the Winnemem Wintu tribe’s efforts to bring back Chinook salmon to California’s McCloud River.
The depth and scope of our print features have often won us awards, and this year has been no exception. Our Spring 2018 investigation of how the proposed California Waterfix project – which would divert massive amounts of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – would impact the already fragile delta ecosystem, received a Knight Award for Best Reporting on a Science or Environmental Subject from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and was a national finalist for the 2018 Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Award.
If our print issues have been doing some heavy lifting, our vibrant online edition, earthislandjournal.org, has been no slouch either, offering up timely reportage, incisive commentary, and calls to action on a diverse range of environmental issues five days a week.
Our online articles have covered everything from the challenges facing wolf recovery efforts in the North Cascades, to a call to support a Pennsylvania Grandmother who was sent to prison in August for protesting a natural gas liquids pipeline, to a look at how former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has left behind a trail of weakened environmental regulations and a demoralized agency.
Producing this kind of deeply-reported, wide-angle journalism takes a lot of hard work, resources, and, most importantly, funding to produce. Unlike commercial magazines, the Journal does not rely on advertising to pay its international pool of writers, photographers, and artists, or to cover production costs. It is contributions from readers like you that allow our small team to continue doing the kind of journalism that holds both public and private actors accountable.
As a regular reader of the Journal, I’m sure you recognize the power of words and images to inspire and affect change. And at a time when honest, fact-based journalism – a key pillar of any democracy – is itself under threat from an administration that doles out lies on a daily basis, I’m sure you understand why the work that we do at the Journal needs more support than ever. Honestly, we can’t do the work that we do with our small team, and even smaller budget, without your support.
I hope you will make a tax-deductible donation to our Green Journalism Fund today.
Thank you for your support.
Maureen Nandini Mitra
Editor, Earth Island Journal
PS: Don’t want to waste a stamp? You can make a donation right now by going online to eii.org/donate. Please consider becoming a monthly sustaining donor. Thank you.