Here at WEA, we’re extremely lucky that we get a chance to work with an incredible team of intelligent, inspirational interns. Fall is a busy time for us, and our team of rockstars helps us to stop cool, calm and creative! We’d love to introduce you to one of our awesome Programs + Operations Interns this fall — meet Katelynn!
Name: Katelynn Mudgett
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
If she had a superpower, it would be (and why): I’d love to be able to fly. I enjoy hiking and when I get a really beautiful view of the mountains and surrounding area from high up, that’s when I wish I could fly over and in between them. Plus, whether it’s from a plane window or the ground, I always I could touch the clouds. Now that I think of it, it’d also be a fun environmentally friendly way to get around (I wouldn’t be using fossil fuels to get around, though there is still the concern about air pollution from other sources).
Why did you want to intern with WEA? WEA, for one, combines my two favorite passions which are environmental and women’s issues which I previously didn’t think intersected or that such an organization worked on that intersection. In college, I majored in Sustainable Development. I had thought about minoring in Women’s Studies, but decided that I didn’t need to take more classes than I needed to and again, wasn’t aware of the intersection. After discovering that connection called ecofeminism, I still wasn’t sure about having a minor since I didn’t think an organization like that existed. After typing key terms like women and earth into Facebook, to my surprise and delight, WEA was an organization that came up. That finally sealed the deal for me to minor in Women’s Studies. I, of course, kept an eye on WEA for any potential future work opportunities and the planets and stars finally aligned for me to be a part of this great organization that works to help women empower themselves.
Tell us about a woman who inspires you. Vandana Shiva. Through her various articles, papers, and books like Ecofeminism or Soil Not Oil that I read on my own and in my Women’s Studies classes, she helped show me how women and the environment connected, and explained in a no-nonsense approach about the problems of capitalism, the fossil fuel industry, monoculture, and so on. Plus, she works hard to help people fight these issues like with the Navdanya Organization that unites farmers for biodiversity of seeds, how to organically farm, and so on. In November 2014, I was actually able to see to her speak in person and get a picture with her when she gave a talk at Wake Forest University which was so exciting for me.
Why women and why the environment? Separately, environmental and women’s issues are interesting enough, but together, they’re even more so. Of course, everything is connected in one way or another even if you wouldn’t think so, but it’s so fascinating and important to actively and consciously work with these intersecting parts to truly have a positive, lasting impact and actually dismantles oppressive systems to build a better, inclusive world for everyone.
What does your life outside WEA look like? I hike, read, watch movies and t.v., ice skate, roller skate, check my social media, read some more, recycle, stay up late and sleep late when I can, find out how I can do more than just recycle to help save the environment, donate blood every eight weeks, and volunteer at places like Pets Lifeline of Sonoma Valley.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bay Area? Read in the shade, hike on all the beautiful trails and parks (there are so many!!).
What are you currently reading / watching / listening to? I’m reading the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and currently am on the fourth book, Queen of Shadows. I’m currently listening to various podcasts such as Stuff Mom Never Told You and Stuff You Missed in History Class. Currently watching various shows such as Adam Ruins Everything on truTV, Queen Sugar on OWN, and Chesapeake Shores on Hallmark Channel. What movie I’m watching changes on a daily basis.