Eco Amazons, released this month by powerHouse Books, profiles 20 American women who are leaders of the environmental movement. The author, Dorka Keehn, has put together a diverse group actively working across a host of issues to effect change. Keehn focuses on individuals with deep personal ties to their work, whose accomplishments merit greater recognition. Her subjects illustrate specific ways in which women can become agents for a sustainable future. Alice Waters describes her involvement with organic foods and farmers’ markets; Majora Carter chronicles the development of her Sustainable South Bronx program; Janine Benyus shares anecdotes that inspired her innovations in the field of biomimicry. With photographs by Colin Finlay, Eco Amazons provides a broad-spectrum view of the positive trends that can evolve from individual determination and dedication.
The following exerpts are from Eco Amazons: 20 Women Who Are Transforming the World by Dorka Keehn, published by powerHouse Books.
Judy Bonds: Born August 27, 1952, Boone County, West Virginia
The daughter and granddaughter of coal miners, Judy Bonds is the director of Coal River Mountain Watch. She is an Appalachian American, and her family has lived in the Coal River Valley for ten generations. In 2003 Judy won the coveted Goldman Prize for her work to stop mountaintop removal mining and its destructive impact on local communities and ecosystems.
Winona LaDuke: Born August 18, 1959, Los Angeles, California
A member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, Winona LaDuke is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, which buys back nonnative land, and the executive director of Honor the Earth, an organization she cofounded with the Indigo Girls to raise awareness and financial support for Indigenous environmental justice. Winona ran twice for Vice President of the United Sates as the nominee of the Green Party, and in 2007, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Sylvia Earle: Born August 30, 1935, Gibbstown, New Jersey
Affectionately called "Her Deepness,” oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle is an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and leader of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions. Formerly the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, she has also founded three marine research companies. Sylvia was TIME magazine’s first "Hero of the Planet" and is the recipient of the 2009 TED Prize for her proposal to establish a global network of marine protected areas.
“This is the first time in our history that we are capable of understanding our effect on the earth’s atmosphere, the chemistry of the ocean, and the biodiversity of life. We’re the only species on the planet that can do something about it.” Sylvia Earle