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IslandWire: July 15, 2021


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Brower Youth Awards Announces Dates

Announcing the dates for this year’s Brower Youth Awards! Our virtual ceremony in celebration of six winners will take place on Thursday, October 14. This will be followed, on Tuesday, October 19, by a virtual Q & A session with the awardees, who will talk more about their work and their hopes for the future. Produced by Earth Island’s New Leaders Initiative, the Brower Youth Awards, now in its 22nd year, is the premier environmental youth leadership award in the country — always an inspiring and uplifting event for students, families, environmentalists, and many others. Stay tuned for more information on registration and this year’s winners.


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Green Schoolyards America Receives Awards

It’s always nice to see Earth Island projects receive recognition for the important work they’re doing. In a swift shift from its usual work, Green Schoolyards America quickly applied its skills and experience in outdoor learning to support the many schools across the country struggling to educate students during the pandemic. For this effort, Sharon Danks, project director of Green Schoolyards America, was recognized with the Advocate Award from the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Schools National Network. In addition, the National Covid-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative, cofounded by Green Schoolyards America, received the Michelle Curreri Collaborator Award. Congratulations to Sharon Danks and Green Schoolyards America for their successful initiative. Photo by Drew Kelly Photography.


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Solar Power Generates Energy Sovereignty

A crew of tribal member trainees with Earth Island’s Covenant Solar Initiative recently completed the first official project of the Northern Cheyenne’s Office of Renewable Energy at the Muddy Hall community center, which serves more than 400 residents on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. This project represents the beginning of the next phase of the Covenant team’s work with the tribe, which began 20 years ago this month. The 10kW array is paired with battery backup and water purification systems, which will enable Muddy Hall to be used as a fully functioning emergency shelter in times when severe weather renders the community without power. It will also save the tribe more than $5,000 per year in electricity costs.


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New Book on Native California

Earth Island’s California Institute for Community, Art & Nature announces the release of a new book by its founder and executive director, Malcolm Margolin: Deep Hanging Out: Wanderings and Wonderment in Native California (Heyday). Malcolm has been “deep hanging out” — immersing himself in a social, informal way — in California’s Indian Country for more than fifty years. Writer and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams calls this book a “treasure . . . a vibrant testament to one man’s commitment to nurturing community and dancing with change.” Deep Hanging Out is available as a special thank-you gift for a donation of $50 or more to the California Institute for Community, Art & Nature. Photo of Malcolm by Pete Rosas, Berkeleyside.


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Support for Right-to-Nature Lawsuit

Earth Island’s project Seeding Sovereignty rallied its network and supporters — including actors and activists Mark Ruffalo, Daryl Hannah, and Riley Keough; Goldman Award winner and environmental justice leader Sharon Lavigne; and Indigenous youth Izzy Chasinghorse — to sign on to an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in support of a novel lawsuit brought by Seeding Sovereignty, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and several individuals. The suit aims to compel federal government action on climate change based on a constitutional right to nature and wilderness. Stay tuned for updates on this lawsuit here.


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Population Consciousness

Timed to coincide with World Population Day (July 11), Earth Island’s Transition Earth launched the Creating a Population Consciousness initiative and website. The goal of this effort is to encourage positive and inclusive discussion about population growth and find just solutions that contribute to a thriving planet, human well-being, and responsible communities. Many of the answers, from supporting reproductive rights and health to enacting sustainable economies and recognizing rights of nature, are all linked. Creating a Population Consciousness is meant to educate, inform, and catalyze action in support of a better future for all beings.

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