Speech of Wangari Maathai at the Global Forum on Freedom of Expression, 2009 – Part 1 (and Part 2)

Dr. Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize recipient and first African woman to receive the award (2004), died today while undergoing treatment for cancer (EuroNews.Net, Sept. 26, 2011).

Professor Maathai campaigned for women’s rights, as well as founding the Green Belt Movement. With a background in veterinary anatomy, she gained fame in the late 1980s and 1990s protesting against government-back forest clearances in Kenya. Her organisation focused on planting trees to fight deforestation and rural hunger, and empowering women.

Maathai was also an elected member of parliament who served as Assistant Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources.

My good thoughts to Dr. Maathai, her family, and friends. She will be sorely missed.

You can see the film, “Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai” (2009), at the PBS.Org website.