Written By: Madison Rhoades, WMEAC Intern
Do you know a woman in your community who dedicates her time, energy and talent towards environmental protection, education and/or justice? It turns out that West Michigan has many of these women – women who work hard to support environmental education, advocate for stronger environmental protection legislation or even lead local environmental initiatives like tree planting, trash clean ups, stormwater drain cleaning and recycling efforts. The Hidden Heroine Awards gives you the opportunity to recognize them. Every year WMEAC recognizes women who have played crucial roles in environmental activism in West Michigan at the Women, Community and the Environment Series.
The 8th Annual Women, Community and the Environment Series, will take place over three days this year from Thursday, February 21st – Saturday, February 23rd. This series focuses on including, educating, inspiring and activating the local community around environmental issues in West Michigan. This year’s theme will be focused on water and health issues in Michigan. The three day event will kick off with a networking night on Thursday night and an opportunity to hear from Hidden Heroine alumni speaking on the topic “What Does It Mean to be an Activist?” The premiere of the documentary “Thirst for Justice” and panel discussion follows on Friday evening. On Saturday afternoon, we will gather for an advocacy workshop, recognize the winners of the Hidden Heroine Awards and hear keynote speaker State Senator Stephanie Chang.
The Hidden Heroine Award nominations allow the community to recognize the women you know who empower, inspire and work towards environmental protection and justice. The awards are divided into three different categories in recognition of the journey of activism and involvement through one’s life.
Woman of Hope
The Women of Hope Award honors a forward-looking, up-and-coming environmental advocate who represents hope for environmental activism. This Woman of Hope also provides environmental engagement through her fresh voice and diverse perspective to the ongoing efforts to improve the environment.
Woman of Inspiration
The Women of Inspiration Award honors a woman at the forefront of the current environmental movement. As a contemporary environmental leader, the Woman of Inspiration also brings seasoned environmental experience and motivation to those around her, embodying inspiration through environmental advocacy.
Woman of Vision
The Women of Vision Award honors a woman who is a veteran in environmental activism. Through her hard work, determination, experience, and leadership, the Woman of Vision has built a legacy of environmental advocacy. This award is a tribute to women who are and have been environmental visionaries.
These awards allow WMEAC to highlight a woman who may be a new face on the block or someone who has been established in their work, leaving a legacy of a healthier community. It is an amazing opportunity for WMEAC to honor three women every year and recognize their work.
Hidden Heroines exist through our lives and the community. They are the women who spend hours of their weeks to make sure that the communities that we live in are a safer, cleaner, healthier and more equitable place for the future generations and their work has a lasting legacy. Nominating someone for the Hidden Heroine awards is an amazing opportunity to recognize a woman in your life for the work she does but may not always be thanked for.
Nominations for the awards are open now! The last day to nominate a special woman you know is January 16th and the winners will be announced Saturday, February 23rd, the third and last day of our Women,Community and the Environment series.
For more information or to nominate a Hidden Heroine go to https://wmeac.org/women-and-the-environment/