Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai Memorialized in San Francisco

Posted on November 22, 2011
Al Gore was just one of several distinguished speakers who came to Wangari Maathai's memorial service at the Delancey Street Theater in San Francisco last week. The environmentalist passed away in September while undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer.


Also in attendance was Douglas Goldman (president of the Goldman Environmental Foundation), Musimbi Kanyoro (president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women), and Huey Johnson (founder of Green Belt Movement International). Speakers remembered her luminous smile, fearless advocacy for the environment, smart strategic actions, and tireless spirit.

Stephen Mills, the director of the Green Belt Movement, U.S.,  said that Maathai was ahead of her time — fighting for the environment, women's empowerment, against corruption, and for community development — all in "one smiling package." Al Gore reminded the audience that the best way to honor her vision is to sustain her beloved cause — the Green Belt Movement — which to date has planted nearly 5 billion trees in Kenya and beyond.

Here is video of Al Gore's eulogy and other selected remembrances from the event.

Maathai is the inspiration behind the Independent Lens film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathaione of the Community Cinema films this December that is featured in ITVS's Women and Girl Lead campaign. Watch the video below as Independent Lens series producer Lois Vossen, discusses the documentary and legacy of Wangari Maathai.


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