IslandWire: November 17, 2022

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Stream the Magic of the Brower Youth Awards

On October 18, Earth Island Institute celebrated six youth activists at our 23rd annual Brower Youth Awards. From creators of local restoration initiatives to major fossil-fuel divestment campaigns, this year’s outstanding winners amazed the audience at our first in-person event since the start of the pandemic. Watch the awardee speeches, performances, and short documentary films about the winners on our New Leaders Initiative YouTube channel here. Share the magic with friends, family, and students — and get to know our future environmental leaders! Photo by Carla Hernández Ramírez.


photo of demonstrators holding a sign in a courtroom

Welcome Law Students for Climate Accountability

Earth Island Institute is pleased to welcome Law Students for Climate Accountability to its network of fiscally sponsored projects. Law Students for Climate Accountability began with a group of law students that created the Law Firm Climate Change Scorecard, illustrating the involvement of law firms in the climate crisis through their work on behalf of the fossil-fuel industry. That initiative has since grown into a movement, activating and mobilizing the power of law students to transform the legal industry by moving it toward a just transition. Working in solidarity with frontline communities, Law Students for Climate Accountability believes that lawyers must take action to create a more equitable and sustainable world.


photo of young people taking photographs on a wild beach

Connecting with Nature through a Camera

Over the weekend, Earth Island's Conservation Kids teamed up with the Napa County Office of Education and Calistoga Junior and Senior High School for a conservation photography workshop in Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California. Conservation Kids connects young adults to conservation through photography. Students and their 18 cameras hit the trail to document the incredible beauty around them — great blue herons hunting for fish, river otters playing in the sand, songbirds singing in the lupine bushes. More than 4,000 images were taken during the workshop, and one lucky participant went home with a new zoom lens for their camera. Photo by Sarah Killingsworth. 


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Solar Energy Initiative Gains Support

Earth Island’s Indigenous Energy Initiative (IEI) is celebrating many achievements this Native American Heritage Month. The project’s work supporting Native American tribes in their pursuit of energy sovereignty is being recognized with a MacArthur Foundation Climate Solutions grant, an MIT Solve Indigenous Communities Fellowship, a GM Prize supported by General Motors, and as a finalist for the Elevate Prize. All will further IEI’s work to support the self-determination of Native tribes in moving away from extractive and exploitative fossil-fuel energy. (IEI Founder and CEO Chéri Smith fourth from right in photo.)


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Empowering Indigenous Youth

Across North America, Indigenous youth face suicide rates that are 2.5 times higher than the national average. At Earth Island’s Seeding Sovereignty, their Medicine Wheels program has been creating safe spaces for youth to express themselves through art, skating, and being outdoors. Honoring Native American Heritage Month, Medicine Wheels recently launched on the Pine Ridge Reservation, creating a place of strength and encouragement for our future leaders. The youth-led community events distribute free gear, provide food, and reinforce positive mental health by reconnecting youth with their Tiyóšpaye (extended family and community). Learn more about Medicine Wheels and how you can support this powerful initiative on GlobalGiving.


photos of a woman, mountain lions

Negri Receives Animal Protection Award

Sharon Negri, founder and director of Earth Island’s WildFutures, and co-founder and former director of the Mountain Lion Foundation, is the inaugural recipient of the Animal Grantmakers Melanie Anderson Lifetime Excellence in Animal Protection (LEAP) Award. The award recognizes animal advocates who have made a substantial and sustained contribution to the field of animal protection. Among other notable achievements, Negri was instrumental in a California ballot initiative that banned trophy hunting of mountain lions and allocated $30 million a year for 30 years to critical wildlife habitat.


photo of wolves pacing through a grassland

Fighting to Protect Wolves in Montana

In late October, WildEarth Guardians and Earth Island’s Project Coyote filed a lawsuit in Montana claiming that the state of Montana; the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission are violating the law by relying on stale and insufficient scientific data to authorize the killing of roughly 40 percent of the state’s wolves this coming winter, including those that wander outside Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. Last week, both groups followed up by filing a motion asking a Montana state court to prohibit the start of Montana’s wolf-trapping season while the merits of the case are considered.


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A Dynamic Forum for Food Culture

Earth Island’s Food Culture Collective has created a dynamic forum in which we can cultivate our relationship to food and the land. Through various programs and a series of events, the project brings together a community of food workers, culture-bearers, and creatives to help us nourish the systems, values, narratives, and everyday behaviors that shape our world. Their next “Around the Table” virtual event on December 8, 12:00 p.m. PST, brings together Indigenous ethnobotanist Enrique Salmón and disability justice advocate Kristie Cabrera on the topic of belonging. Learn more and register here.


portrait of a man, EI logo

Earth Island’s Longtime Executive Director Stepping Down

David Phillips, Earth Island’s co-founding executive director, announced to staff last week that he will be stepping down from his role as executive director once a successor is named. Dave worked shoulder to shoulder with the great David Brower to help create Earth Island — a place where small groups with bold ideas for protecting the Earth could take hold, get support, and make a big difference — and leaves the organization “stronger than it’s ever been,” said Board President Josh Floum. Read more about Dave’s commitment and contribution to Earth Island here.