Brower Youth Awards
Four generations of environmental leaders attended the 2003 Brower Youth Awards ceremony on September 25 in Berkeley, California. David Brower even showed up to say a few words.
David C. Brower and his cousin Rosemary Olsen--David R. Brower's grandchildren--introduced Award recipient Thomas Nichols, 14, who has been restoring the Rio Grande in New Mexico. Thomas works to restore the river's cottonwood trees while protecting the native beavers who had been eating them. Previous restoration plans involved killing beavers. Ceremony host Van Jones highlighted Thomas's work as an example of the need to see beyond false choices citizens are presented with today: "We're being told that it's 'either/or,' ... but these young leaders are showing us ways to have 'both/and.'"
Onstage, recipient Illai Kenney, 14, of Georgia quipped, "I want you all to know that I'm running for Governor of California." After a rousing speech that showed the influence of her work with civil rights leaders, Illai announced the formation of the League of Future Voters. mar received a 2003 Brower Youth Award for environmental justice work as a co-founder of Georgia Kids Against Pollution. She was the youngest delegate to the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Andrew Azman, 22, of Boulder, Colorado, reminded the audience that the diesel engine was designed to run on vegetable oil; his work to promote biodiesel helps fulfill Rudolph Diesel's original vision of farmers growing both food and fuel. As founder of CU Biodiesel, Andrew convinced the University of Colorado and the City of Boulder to refit their diesel buses and trucks to burn biodiesel.
Brower New Leaders Initiative co-director Mikhail Davis introduced recipient Whitney Cushing, 17, of Homer, Alaska, and reminded the audience that David Brower worked tirelessly to stop the Alaska Oil Pipeline. Whitney's parents met while working on the pipeline, and Whitney's work to preserve the rest of Alaska shows that at least some good came of that environmental defeat. …