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Wangari Maathai Photo credit: Devin Lund

CineFocus Producers and Founders Joan Prowse and John Bessai are pleased to receive an award on behalf of GreenHeroes for making a positive impact through their filmmaking at the MINT Film Festival on Friday, February 24th at 7:30 p.m in Toronto. Their GreenHeroes webisode featuring the late Dr. Wangari Maathai, the first environmentalist and African woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, will be screened as part of the evening’s festivities.

The February edition of the monthly festival is themed for Black History Month. International motivational speaker and Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Spider Jones will be the host at the Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Avenue, Toronto) and also includes musical performances by Canadian jazz legend Jackie Richardson and a screening of the award winning feature documentary, Prom Night in Mississippi, by filmmakers Paul Saltzman and Patricia Aquinio.

See MINT’s Facebook page event for ticket information and to RSVP.

More Trees!
04Oct
2011

Continuing our celebration of Wangari Maathai‘s work to increase tree planting, GreenHeroes shares some more opportunities for you to help the cause.

Arbopals is a virtual world for children complete with social networking, gaming and more, that teaches them about trees. Arbopals also plants real trees with various fees users pay to use the site, buy merchandise, etc. The President of Arbopals, Peter O’Brien, was inspired by Wangari Maathai’s work and wrote a guest post on our blog about her and his work for Arbopals.

Courtesy of John Bessai

If you live in Ontario, you can apply for a program called My Backyard Tree to get a big tree for a cheap price and also help plant it!

Tree Canada has partnered with TD Friends of the Environment to create TD Green Streets, a forestry innovation program that helps Canadian municipalities and Aboriginal communities integrate forestry into their urban environment. Learn more about how your community or municipality can apply.

After the recent passing of champion of tree planting Wangari Maathai, many dignitaries have publicly reflected on her incredible work to bring more trees, and their social, economic and environmental impact, into the world.

“Professor Maathai’s tireless efforts earned her not only a Nobel Peace Prize and numerous prestigious awards, but the respect of millions who were inspired by her commitment to conservation, democracy, women’s empowerment, the eradication of poverty, and civic engagement.”

-Barack Obama, President of the United States

“She was determined to make our world a more peaceful, better place to live. I hope her valuable achievements will inspire other women to follow her example and take a more active role in society.”

-His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

“A globally recognized champion for human rights and women’s empowerment, Professor Maathai was a pioneer in articulating the links between human rights, poverty, environmental protection and security – for which she was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.”

– Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Photo Courtesy of Devin Lund

You can read more from these statements and others and sign the book of condolences for Wangari Maathai on the GreenBelt website.

Artists are also celebrating Wangari’s work. Actor and activist Djimon Hounsou Tweeted “The world has lost an environmental hero! We will honor your life and legacy. RIP Nobel Peace Laureate #WangariMaathai . We love you! #Africa Actress Kerry Washington Tweeted this reference to Wangari: “RIP MOTHER OF TREES”

GreenHeroes encourages you to plant a tree in Wangari’s memory. Want to do more? We will help you get started.

Photo Courtesy of Devin Lund

We are sad to announce the earth’s loss of one of her great champions. Wangari Maathai, our GreenHero who brought trees to areas in Kenya that had been environmentally degraded, died of cancer at age 71.

In the late 1970s, after hearing Kenyan women express their need for firewood, fresh drinking water and nutritious food, Wangari rallied them and said “Let’s plant trees!” She founded the Green Belt movement in Kenya that pays groups of women to plant trees. In over 30 years, 40 million trees were planted.

Her work inspired the United Nations One Billion Trees campaign, a worldwide program whose objective is to plant one billion trees per year.

In 2004, Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for her work. In developing a tree planting program, she fostered communities and showed the world how important trees really are.

For more on Wangari’s story, view our webisode on her. To learn how you can further her movement, visit our Talking Climate Change campaign we created that was inspired by her efforts.

“We created a movement that has inspired many other people, not only in Africa, but in many other parts of the world, so that many people feel ‘If she can do it, I can do it.’” – Wangari Maathai speaking to GreenHeroes

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