Community leaders who inspire labors of love
What: Environmental Heroes Awards Banquet
When: 5 pm Thu., Sep. 12
Contact RE Sources for additional event information and RSVP.
Info: www. re-sources.org
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” Martin Luther King, Jr. summarized a sermon from a century earlier. The work is hard, and it must be inclusive. The environmental movement is intricately interwoven with that of social justice. One cannot endure without the other, a recognition that has inspired this year’s selection of Environmental Heroes focused on the food web and those who help sustain it. For more than a decade, the public advocacy group RE Sources has honored individuals who make a difference in this community. Some years, selections are driven by current events and leading headlines; other years are thematic. This year’s selection is a bit of both—focused on the fundamentals that nourish life in the Salish Sea.
Farmworker justice leader and food system activist
Rosalinda Guillén is a widely recognized farmworker justice leader who promotes food justice, immigration reform and farmworker rights. As the founding executive director of Community to Community Development (C2C), a grassroots organization led by women of color, she and her team work to strengthen local and global movements toward social, economic and environmental justice. She worked with farmworkers at Chateau Ste. Michelle to win the first-ever farmworkers’ collective bargaining agreement in the state of Washington, and is the national vice president of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) union.
Salmon steward and community builder
Rachel Vasak has devoted the last 23 years of her life to restoring salmon runs and supporting thriving salmon populations across Whatcom County. She is the executive director of Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA), a volunteer-powered organization dedicated to restoring sustainable wild salmon runs in Whatcom County. NSEA is one of Washington state’s largest Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups, a network of 14 nonprofits created by the state Legislature to promote salmon recovery. Since 1991, the association has completed more than 400 restoration projects.
Labor rights advocate and clean energy champion
Steve is a bridge-builder between labor rights and environmental interests. He’s a retired refinery worker and former president of United Steelworkers local union, and a member of the BlueGreen Alliance and the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy. He advocates for prohibiting the export of crude oil from Northwest refineries to support production jobs and protect the environment, was instrumental in championing the Protect Washington Act (Initiative 1631), and supports a waterfront redevelopment and vision for Cherry Point that stewards the environment and provides good jobs.
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