West Michigan Environmental Action Council and Grand Valley State University’s Women’s Center and Sustainable Community Development Initiative are presenting the second annual Women & Environment Symposium on Friday, February 15, at the GVSU L.V. Eberhard Center in downtown Grand Rapids.
New for the 2013 event, WMEAC called for nominations of women from the past and present who have affected the regional environmental community. The top candidates will be honored during the symposium.
The Women & Environment Symposium celebrates diversity in the regional environmental movement as it explores the intersection between women’s issues and environmental concerns. The discussions will examine topics such as waste and garbology, environmental effects on women’s and children’s health, and environmental justice and sustainable living, among several others. An invaluable opportunity for professionals and students alike to learn about the issues, their history, and current success stories, the symposium is a large-scale meeting between local leaders and stakeholders in the academic, business, and activism communities focused on women and the environment.
The purpose of the awards is to acknowledge women who have inspired others to become stewards of our environment, while steadfastly and persistently working to protect the quality of our air, earth, and water. These are heroines who often receive little acknowledgment or recognition for their hard work and commitment to our safe, healthy, and sustainable environment. Nominations were made for three categories: Women from the past (Vision), Women from the present (Inspiration), and Women for the future (Hope).
“The women’s movement and the environmental movement have been linked since the beginning,” said Rachel Hood, executive director of West Michigan Environmental Action Council. “You don’t have to look very hard to see the importance of women in the environmental movement, from trailblazers such as Rachel Carson and WMEAC founder Joan Wolfe to the dozens of local women carrying on their legacy today. What we don’t think people see quite as readily is the relationship between women’s issues and environmental concerns. There are some very strong links.”