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

India Ripple Academy Learning Lab: Applications Open

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Applications for the India Ripple Academy Learning Lab are still open and the deadline to apply is July 31st. The Learning Lab is a 2-month program that will launch in Rishikesh, India with a training intensive from September 14-16, 2018.

The Ripple Academy Learning Lab is a unique opportunity for women environmental leaders in India to strengthen their work, increase their impact, and gain deeper access to the movement of regional women leaders transforming environmental crises into solutions.

Learn more and apply!

The Ripple Academy Sets Sail

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Dear Earth Allies,

We’ve set sail for the next chapter! This Fall, thirty women from throughout India will gather in Rishikesh, India to kick off the Ripple Academy. Along with our partner, URI, and our global design team, we’ve developed the first in a series of Ripple Academy “Learning Labs” in different regions — 2-month programming that includes a 3-day workshop and an interactive online training. The Lab will support women leaders to strengthen their grassroots environmental initiatives, increasing the impact of their vital solutions.

The Ripple Academy scales the success of WEA’s model — developed over more than a decade of supporting grassroots women environmental leaders — by guiding multiple cohorts of women leaders through year-long WEA trainings that equip them with skills, tools, and resources to scale income-generating environmental projects.

With ongoing mentorship and global visibility, they will transform the impact of their initiatives alongside aligned leaders — exponentially advancing regional environmental solutions and influencing global environmental goals.

Thank you for being with us for the journey.

Onward,

Melinda, Amira, and the WEA Team