Sunday, February 22, 2009

Celebrating History

George Bernard Shaw once said about history "We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future." Indeed, it is those individuals and events that demonstrate forward-thinking and responsibility for the future that make history as they also inspire great change.

As we celebrate Black History Month we want to honor the first African woman Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement. The Green Belt Movement is "one of the most prominent women’s civil society organizations, based in Kenya, advocating for human rights and supporting good governance and peaceful democratic change through the protection of the environment. Its mission is to empower communities worldwide to protect the environment and to promote good governance and cultures of peace. " It started with the simple act of planting a tree and has evolved into a massive effort to fight deforestation and to preserve the environment.

"It is the people who must save the environment," states Dr. Maathai, "It is the people who must make their leaders change. And we cannot be intimidated. So we must stand up for what we believe in." Empowering communities to act is awe-inspiring as well as a challenge in its own right. We applaud Dr. Maathai for making history and encourage each and every person to consider how their actions impact the future. Leaders do certainly respond to the actions of the people and by addressing the need for change in our homes, our neighborhoods, and our communities we can manifest a new destiny. Remember - we are all making history!

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