Earth Day Organizers to Honor Greenpeace USA’s Annie Leonard as 2021 Environmental Hero
The Community Environmental Council (CEC) proudly announces Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, as the recipient of its 2021 Environmental Hero Award, presented as part of CEC’s Virtual Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival being held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 22-24. The free festival is available to view at SBEarthDay.org.
Annie Leonard will join the festival on Saturday, April 24 to share insights into her vital work and accept the award in an interview with Community Environmental Council CEO Sigrid Wright and UC Santa Barbara Dehlsen Chair of Environmental Studies and Director of the Global Environmental Justice Project Dr. David N. Pellow. Check SBEarthDay.org for the confirmed time closer to the event.
Annie Leonard is the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, an independent environmental organization that uses research, creative communication, non violent direct action and people-power to advance environmental solutions. She is the founder of The Story of Stuff and previously spent two decades working on international sustainability as well as environmental and health issues.
"It's a huge honor to receive CEC's Environmental Hero award,” stated Leonard. “CEC played a crucial role in the early days of the US environmental movement, raising the alarm and recruiting people to join – and it continues to do so today, working for solutions to climate and pollution that align with the demands of both science and justice.” She went on to say that California is the “pace car” in the climate race – meaning both the state and regional organizations like CEC have a huge responsibility in moving the rest of the world forward.
This year’s festival theme is #CelebrateClimateLeadership, and the free three-day virtual event will focus on key areas where youth, business, and community climate leaders are stepping up to do the critical work needed to combat the climate crisis. CEC will also use the event to dive deeper into the organization’s ambitious plan for how our community can meet the urgency of the climate crisis and go all in together on halting the impacts of climate change – rapidly and equitably – to reverse, repair, and protect against climate threats.
“President Biden’s ambitious climate agenda puts a strong wind at our backs, but at least 50% of implementing climate policy will take unrelenting and courageous action at the regional level,” said Wright. “Annie Leonard’s work exemplifies what it means to build the broad, boots-on-the-ground base of activism that we need to go all in together on the climate crisis."
Annie Leonard joins an esteemed list of previous Environmental Heroes, including: “Drawdown” author and activist Paul Hawken; U.S. Congressmembers Lois Capps and Salud Carbajal; "The OMD Plan: Swap One Meal a Day to Save your Health and Save the Planet" author Suzy Amis Cameron and director James Cameron; Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres; 350.org founder Bill McKibben; science educator Bill Nye; activist/actress Daryl Hannah; and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.