WEA Voice: Olanike Olugboji

Project: WISE Women's Clean Cookstoves Project

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Olanike Olugboji — WEA partner and founder of Nigerian NGO WISE — was recently recognized with the Sustainability, Environment and Advocacy Award for demonstrating exceptional proficiency in Eco-Business Advocacy.

Olanike is a WEA founding mother who participated in our first Women and Water Training in 2008 and has now trained over 3,000 women in clean energy, safe water technologies, and entrepreneurship. WEA and WISE recently partnered together again on the WISE Women’s Clean Cookstoves Training.


WEA Voice: Emmanuela Shinta

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In a moment of global environmental crisis, Indonesia is ground zero. In response, it is the women of Indonesia who are rising to meet these challenges — women like Emmanuela Shinta, Dayak leader, environmentalist and filmmaker from Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). WEA recently hosted Shinta in California, where she shared how her community and environment are profoundly impacted by the world’s palm oil consumption.

Stay tuned:  WEA’s headed to Indonesia in 2019 to partner with Shinta and others to uplift critical solutions

A victory for sacred site protection at the West Berkeley Shellmound

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On June 5, the City of Berkeley denied Blake Griggs/West Berkeley Investors’ application to fast-track development of a massive 260-unit project, which would desecrate the sacred West Berkeley Shellmound site (also a designated city landmark) near Fourth Street. “Ohlone people are in favor of low-income housing and are aware of the extreme housing crisis we are facing in the Bay Area, our traditional territory. We need smart strategies to solve the Bay Area’s housing crisis. Desecrating an indigenous sacred site is not one of them.”Corrina Gould, spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan.

Corrina’s leadership alongside a growing coalition to protect the Shellmound is bringing communities together in a peaceful, prayerful movement. They are now anticipating developers’ next steps in this ongoing fight to protect this sacred site.

Learn about continued efforts to protect the West Berkeley Shellmound here.

Women you should know

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Last week, history was made as a record number of women (and women of color) were elected to office during the U.S. midterm elections. 256 women, to be exact, were candidates for the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate in the general election, and as of this past Monday, 114 have won — including the first Native American and Muslim women elected to Congress.

There’s clearly no shortage of inspiring, powerful women to celebrate, whether we’re looking at American politics or WEA’s work supporting women leaders around the world. From fierce eco-warriors to life-giving seed savers, clean energy entrepreneurs to forest-home gardeners, these leaders are making their mark on history, on our countries, and on the Earth.

In recognition of this promising moment, here are a few courageous women we think you oughta know.

  • Letitia “Tish” James, first African-American woman to be elected attorney general of New York
  • Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim woman to be voted into Congress
  • Rashida Harbi Tlaib, the first Muslim woman to be voted into Congress
  • Deb Haaland, the first Native American woman to be voted into Congress
  • Sharice Davids, the first Native American woman to be voted into Congress
  • Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman to be voted into Congress
  • Angie Craig, the first openly lesbian mother to be voted into Congress
  • Jahana Hayes, the first Black congresswoman from Connecticut
  • Ayanna Pressley, the first Black congresswomen from Massachusetts
  • Veronica Escobar, the first Latinx congresswoman from Texas
  • Sylvia Garcia, the first Latinx congresswoman from Texas

Beyond the Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies report

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The Shedding Light on Environmental Violence Initiative shows us that what happens to the land, happens to our bodies. Chrissy Swain, a leader featured in our Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies report, shares her experience of mercury poisoning caused by pollution from a paper mill near the Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) First Nation reserve in this article. Thanks to our friends at International Indian Treaty Council for sharing this work and being leaders in transforming environmental violence into environmental justice.

For more on the Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies report and toolkit, and our work with Native Youth Sexual Health Network, visit landbodydefense.org.

Read the full article.

*Photo of Chrissy Swain by David Sone/Earthroots