Wangari Mathai (1940-2011) was a Kenyan environmentalist and political activist. In the 1970’s, she founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental NGO focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation and women’s rights. In addition to teaching and being involved in environmental and human rights, she was involved in Kenyan politics, often at great risk and suffering economic consequences, personal attacks and imprisonment. Despite this, she persisted, becoming a voice for free and fair elections. For her work, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.
In honor of her spirit, take a moment today to reflect on her words: “In a few decades, the relationship between the environment, resource and conflict may seem almost as obvious as the connection we see today between human rights, democracy and peace.”