By Canopy Team on May 15, 2017
This past month Canopy’s Teen Urban Foresters had the opportunity to attend the Goldman Environmental Prize, an amazing ceremony in which six people are awarded the Goldman Prize for making change to benefit their communities and those around them. The ceremony took place this year on April 24th in San Francisco at the War Memorial Opera House.
In reflection of the evening and the inspiring individuals who were honored, Teen Urban Foresters, Elsa and Eric, share their thoughts on the experience.
The people who won the Goldman Environmental Prize were the following: mark! Lopez, Prafulla Samantara, Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo, Wendy Bowman, Rodrigo Tot, and Uros Macerl. They all come from a different places, and with different mindsets they made their visions come true.
They are the perfect example of what a true environmentalist is. They didn’t let anything get between them and their goals for their community. Not only did they help their communities, but they inspire those around them to take action.
Personally the six winners inspire me to help my community even more and to not let anything stop me. They inspire me to make my community a better place to be, not just for me but for those generations that are coming after me.
With their hard work and dedication, I learned that nothing is impossible for what you really vision. With the help of your community and those closest to you, anything can become reality, just like they made their goals become reality. They’re the definition of heros for the environment.
I was particularly moved by mark! Lopez’ story of shutting down a battery smelter plant that contaminated his community with lead. I felt very inspired by how he was able to stand up to those who targeted his community.
I felt as though his story was very relevant to the work we do at Canopy, in that part of the reason his community was targeted in the way it was, was because his community was a poor one, and one of color, besides that. The reason this relates to our work at Canopy is that East Palo Alto is also a poor community of color, with very few trees.
Learn more about Canopy’s Teen Urban Forester program and how you can help bring more trees to East Palo Alto.