May 19, 2022
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Earth Night 2022
MAY 19, 2022
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM, HARBORVIEW TERRACE & TENT
Earth Night 2022 was a huge success!
On Thursday, May 19 the Environmental League of Massachusetts held its 25th Earth Night at the New England Aquarium. We enjoyed hosting 280 guests for our first in-person Earth Night in three years. Together, we gathered to support ELM’s mission to advocate for policy that meets the scale and urgency of our environmental challenges.
Congratulations to our five Commonwealth Environmental Leadership Awardees, each of whom are working to address MA’s most pressing climate challenges: State Representative Joan Meschino, María Belén Power, Andrea Nyamekye, Mass General Brigham, and Jeremy Grantham, CBE.
We invite you to learn more about our sponsors, which we thank for their crucial support.
Meet Our Awardees
Issues of climate, equity, and health are deeply interconnected. The negative impacts of climate change are exacerbating public health issues, disproportionately impacting overburdened and under resourced communities. This year’s Earth Night celebration will honor those who have worked at the intersection of climate, health, and equity, creating groundbreaking solutions, serving the community, and advocating for programs and policies we need to address the Commonwealth’s most pressing challenges.
State Representative Joan Meschino, for leading the charge to pass one of the strongest climate laws in the nation.
Representative Joan Meschino was elected to the MA State Legislature in 2016 after centering her campaign on bold plans to protect her coastal community from the negative impacts of climate change. A lifelong resident of the South Shore and part of a family and community that relies heavily on industries dependent on a healthy environment, she sees the interconnection between a strong economy with well-paying jobs and a healthy environment. She is a passionate advocate for carbon neutrality, sustainable transportation, improved air quality, a robust green economy, and vibrant neighborhoods. She led the fight and played a pivotal role in the passage of “An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy”. Signed into law in March 2021, her bold vision became the strongest climate law in the nation. This law set the Commonwealth on a course for a cleaner, more equitable, and more prosperous future. Representative Meschino is a strong leader, collaborating effectively with her colleagues and representing her constituents with empathy and compassion. Her advocacy and leadership have improved the Commonwealth for generations to come.
Maria Belén Power and Andrea Nyamekye, for organizing and leading a movement to codify protections for the marginalized, overburdened, and vulnerable people across Massachusetts.
María Belén Power and Andrea Nyamekye are co-leaders of the Massachusetts Environmental Justice (EJ) Legislative Table with their partners at Alternatives for Community and Environment, the Coalition for Social Justice and the North American Indian Center of Boston. In 2021, this group played a pivotal role in codifying into law a definition of Environmental Justice that included race, income, and English language proficiency as crucial metrics for protections and harm reduction. This success was the culmination of decades of organizing from EJ leaders across the Commonwealth.
María Belén is the Associate Executive Director of GreenRoots, a community organization working to achieve environmental justice and greater quality of life through collective action, unity, education and youth leadership across neighborhoods and communities. She serves on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, an appointee of the Biden-Harris Administration.
Andrea is the Associate Director of Neighbor to Neighbor, a grassroots organization working to build counter the fear that causes injustice by building power to transform the institutions that govern our lives. She became an activist at a young age, with her passion for social justice growing during her time at UMass Amherst. In her at Neighbor to Neighbor she has pushed the organization to consider the intersection of climate issues with other economic and racial justice issues impacting communities.
María Belén and Andrea worked with the EJ Legislative Table’s 15+ member organizations (including ELM) to collaborate and coordinate advocacy, presenting a unified front at the State House and achieving important and meaningful results. The coalition’s efforts to educate and engage legislators proved successful when their main priority bill was signed into law as a section of the landmark “Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy”. These provisions provided a new definition for environmental justice communities, allowing these communities creating a path for resources to be better allocated to those with the most need and improved processes for public participation in energy siting decisions impacting communities that already endure environmental burdens.
Mass General Brigham, for using their power, influence, and expertise to advocate for policy to build a healthier, more sustainable, more equitable Commonwealth.
Mass General Brigham (MGB) is both the largest private employer and the largest healthcare provider in Massachusetts. A leader in innovation and research, the institution sees reducing its impact on the environment as not only a top priority, but a responsibility. MGB sees the deep connection between ambitious climate policy, improved public health, and ameliorated inequity, and believes that it has never been more important to shift to a systemic approach to sustainability. They are a leader in integrating climate, equity, and health into clinical practice and have been vocal advocates at every level of government about the intersectionality of those issues. As a member of the ELM Corporate Council, Mass General Brigham has joined with other key drivers of the state’s economy to advocate for strong environmental policy like environmental justice, offshore wind, and clean transportation.
As trusted health experts and a significant contributor to the Commonwealth’s economy, MGB is committed to driving sustainable solutions to public health and climate issues, taking an active role in the just transition to a resilient and sustainable future.
Jeremy Grantham, CBE, for decades of transformational investments in advocacy, innovation, and technology to address the climate crisis.
Jeremy Grantham is an environmental philanthropist and co-founder of the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, among Boston’s largest nonprofit funds, with over $1.4 billion in combined assets. Jeremy has pledged 98% of his net-worth towards climate and environmental protection. Through his giving, he has enabled bold climate policies and innovative developments in technology. His foundation invests to redesign our energy systems; to improve soil health; to spare the ocean from acidification; to directly recapture carbon from the atmosphere – and more. His decades of investments and philanthropic interests display a deep understanding of the disproportionate impacts our most pressing climate and health problems have on the front-line communities that have contributed so little to the problem. He is dedicated to finding large scale solutions that will provide a bright, habitable world for future generations.
We seek to award individuals, organizations, and corporations who are leading and implementing solutions on crucial and timely issues of climate and the environment.