People from across Northwest Washington convened Wednesday June 9th, for the 2021 Environmental Heroes Awards. Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest kicked off the evening by reciting a poem about salmon, and Washington State Representative Debra Lekanoff continued the theme with a keynote address touching on how a healthy salmon population represents a healthy community, how the work of protecting salmon is interconnected with all of RE Sources’ protection efforts, and how important our voices are when it comes to civic engagement.
The 2021 Heroes — Mary Ruth Holder, London Fletcher, and Darrell Hillaire — each made stirring addresses, speaking to the the urgency and importance to showing up, speaking out, and persisting on behalf of people and the environment. Mary Ruth Holder reminded us how badly the natural world and refinery communities need good advocates — and just how powerful these advocates can be. London Fletcher passionately spoke to the need to feed dying orca and remove outdated dams on the Columbia River that harm salmon and communities. Hillaire spoke of the 215 Indigenous school children whose bodies were recently found on the site of the Kamloops Residential School, and called on all of us to join in remembering those children and the system of oppression that led to their deaths.
Throughout the evening we were all called to come together, to speak as human people on behalf of all people, to protect the salmon and orca at the heart of our region’s identity. Rena Priest closed the evening with a brand-new poem she wrote using words about our region contributed by attendees before the event. You can read this wonderful poem in this downloadable, printable version.
Watch (or rewatch!) the full event
In addition to honoring the contributions of our 2021 Heroes, the evening served to raise crucial funds for RE Sources’ work to protect the Salish Sea, prevent pollution, shift to clean energy, end waste and support our children with the most at stake in a changing climate. Thanks to the generosity of our attendees, we exceeded the $25,000 challenge match set by a group of dedicated supporters. In order to fund critical projects to protect our region this year, we need to reach our event goal of $100,000.
Whether you would like to make your pledged gift from the event, you were unable to attend or missed part of the event, you can still make a gift to help us reach this goal.
Please support our critical efforts to protect the Salish Sea, curb harmful pollution and act on climate it the months ahead.
We also want to recognize and thank our generous business sponsors for underwriting costs related to hosting this event. Please support these businesses that support our community.
Special thanks to our generous sponsors: