December 2013

Dear Friend of Earth Island Institute,

Contribute TodaySomething that one of our project directors said recently – in the wake of the 2013 Power Shift conference – got us thinking about the importance of Home. 

In a recent dispatch for Earth Island Journal’s website, Shadia Fayne Wood – director of Earth Island’s Project Survival Media and a 2004 Earth Island Brower Youth Awards winner – shared an uplifting account of the Power Shift 2013 youth climate summit.

Power Shift, which was convened by Earth Island’s Energy Action Coalition in October, gathered thousands of young activists in Pittsburgh to equip them with tangible skills for climate action advocacy. In her inspirational piece, Shadia wrote that though this was the fourth Power Shift conference, this year’s “youth climate summit felt like the beginning of something new.” She wrote:

We are finding the true meaning of ‘home’ in the hearts of our sisters and brothers in the fight for climate justice. We are discovering the true meaning of ‘solidarity’ by creating an intersectional movement not bound by a single issue, but instead forged by our values.

Inspirational stuff. And a great example of exactly what we do here at Earth Island Institute: Create a home for environmental leaders.

A home for 65 project directors

photo of young people in a conference room with the US President, Barack Obama(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Shadia Fayne Wood, and other Energy Action Coaltion / Power Shift leaders meeting
with President Barack Obama in the White House, April 15, 2011.

Sixty-five project directors – positive, solutions-focused, committed individuals like Shadia – have found a home for their grassroots environmental advocacy projects at Earth Island Institute.

Sharing strong values and eager to take advantage of Earth Island’s community of activists, our projects are tackling climate change, conserving the biodiversity of our lands and oceans, protecting water quality, fighting plastics pollution, boosting food security, and engaging young people in the environmental movement.

Earth Island’s organizational model is rare in the environmental movement.

We’re not bound by a single issue. Rather, Earth Island serves a network of many organizations working on a wide array of crucial issues. We focus on the people who want to lead in implementing real solutions.

With your year-end financial support, you will make it possible for both emerging and experienced environmental leaders to continue to pursue their passions and implement their successful strategies for a sustainable future. Your gift today will give us the resources to continue providing grassroots environmental leaders with the tools they need to protect our shared planet.

Grassroots leaders are seeking out Earth Island sponsorship in growing numbers. During the past five years, our network of sponsored projects has risen from 45 to 65!

In 2013 we added seven new projects: Alliance Against Greenwash, Friends of Muonde, Green Life, Global Trail Alliance, Raptors are the Solution, Oakland Food Policy Council, and Shark Stewards.

Earth Island projects range from these newly sponsored ones to accomplished organizations that have been at home with us for 25 years or longer, such as our International Marine Mammal Project, which is working around the world to protect dolphins and whales.

Our Sacred Land Film Project has also been with us for over 25 years. This fall, Sacred Land Film Project premiered its must-see, four-part documentary series Standing on Sacred Ground here at the David Brower Center. The films share the stories of eight Indigenous communities from around the world that are protecting their ancestral lands from various assaults like mining, oil pipelines, and dams. At the screenings, Indigenous leaders such as Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk, Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons, actress Tantoo Cardinal, and actress and 2007 BYA winner Q’orianka Kilcher shared their wisdom about how to protect sacred places. The film has already become a key resource for Indigenous people who are trying to preserve their homelands.

Your gift today will give us the resources to keep providing a home for successful groups like Sacred Land Film Project.

A home for emerging leaders

photo of a group of well-dressed young people

Also this fall, young environmental leaders from across North America gathered with our Earth Island community to be honored at the 14th annual Brower Youth Awards. This year's incredible winners are Alex Freid, Amira Odeh, Arielle Klagsbrun, Cassandra Lin, Chloe Maxmin, and Jonathan Ferrer.

They were selected from hundreds of applicants by a committee of esteemed environmental leaders including Barbara Brower, Robert Bullard, Maria Gunnoe, Winona LaDuke, Rue Mapp, BYA 2002 winner Ethan Schaffer, and David Suzuki. Check out their stories and those of previous years’ winners at

In addition to being honored at our gala ceremony in San Francisco, the young winners receive
professionally produced short films profiling their achievements, along with recognition in local and national media. In the months and years following the awards ceremony, they also receive mentorship and career advancement through conference scholarships, networking opportunities, leadership training, and small grants funding.

The work of our New Leaders Initiative extends beyond the yearly Brower Youth Awards. NLI’s new program, Movement in Green, provides support for youth leaders who come from communities that – because of either geography or class or race – are underrepresented in the environmental movement. We give micro-grants to these young visionaries to provide them with timely, strategic support so they can craft their dreams into
winning campaigns. 

Through NLI’s Rooted and Rising intergenerational salons, we continue to build relationships between veteran social change activists and emerging leaders, as they share perspectives and campaign strategies. These events are helping to create a smarter, more sophisticated environmental movement.

Times change and Earth Island evolves to provide a home for leaders working for a sustainable world. Your year-end gift will help us support the most creative and energetic leaders who are building a more diverse environmental movement.

A home for those seeking news, perspective, and dialogue

magazine cover thumbnail

Shadia Fayne Wood’s hopeful dispatch from Power Shift is just one example of the reporting we’re doing at Earth Island Journal. While the Journal editorial team stays focused on our 28-year-old, award-winning print magazine, we’re also publishing continuously at Five days a week we post a mix of commentary, original reporting, and breaking news analysis from journalists and activists around the world.

Our quarterly print magazine keeps breaking big stories. Our Summer issue included an investigation into how corporations and law enforcement agencies are teaming up to spy on environmental activists. Our Spring issue had an examination into the possible long-term effects of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power disasters. We’re producing the kind of hard-hitting reporting on the environment that is all too rare into today’s corporate dominated media.

Earth Island Journal is also a home for discussion among environmentalists. This year we published interviews with Van Jones, Naomi Klein and Michael Pollan. Our contributors include a wide range of environmental voices, from Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek, to EarthFirst! co-founder Dave Foreman, to Gus Speth, an NRDC co-founder.  By serving as a forum for debate, we are helping to create a sharper, more strategic environmental movement.

Earth Island Journal: A very smart and scrappy environmental magazine.”
— News Editor

Earth Island Journal is more important than ever. We’re doing the on-the-ground reporting that’s essential for giving citizens and policy makers the information they need to protect the environment. With your generous year-end tax-deductible gift, we can continue to produce top-notch journalism.

A home for restoration innovators

With our Restoration Initiatives program, Earth Island funds community-based restoration projects focused on protecting and enhancing wetlands and watersheds in Southern California. And the Initiative’s “Streets Alive” project is bringing community beautification and neighborhood involvement projects to the streetscapes of downtown Berkeley.

As you can see, our programs and projects have achieved so much in 2013. And in the coming year – with your continued support – we can do so much more. Our Project Support program, New Leaders Initiative, Earth Island Journal, and Restoration Initiatives each have ambitious plans to enhance and expand their work in 2014.

We recap our programs for you at the end of each year because we’re proud of our accomplishments and hope that you’ll agree, as you consider your philanthropic gifts at this time of sharing. Earth Island’s model for
effective activism through shared organizational resources has never been more needed. We nurture the most promising emerging leaders of our time, shepherding resources conservatively to help these leaders succeed. We have consistently demonstrated that we are a unique, powerful organization that is lean and strategic.

charity navigator logo“Only 3% of the charities we rate have received at least 6 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Earth Island Institute consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Earth Island Institute from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”

—Ken Berger, President and CEO, Charity Navigator

Member support keeps us growing and innovating. We thank you for your generous support now, so that we can grow environmental leadership in the new year!


graphich of a signature

John A. Knox
Executive Director

PS: If you prefer, you can make a tax-deductible donation right now online at