National Wildlife Federation Honors Leaders in Environmental Justice

RESTON, Va. — The National Wildlife Federation announced the recipients of its Environmental Justice 21st-Century Awards, which recognize the people and programs that have gone above and beyond to advance environmental justice in the conservation movement. The awards were given out during the organization’s annual meeting and 85th anniversary celebration, which was held for the second time as a virtual event this year.

“Across the Federation, these individuals and programs have recognized and uplifted the importance of environmental justice while centering the experiences and stories of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian people,” said Mustafa Santiago Ali, vice president of environmental justice, climate, and community revitalization at the National Wildlife Federation. “Reviving the Environmental Justice 21st-Century Awards is an opportunity to recognize the impact and contributions of these individuals while elevating the importance of environmental justice in the conservation movement.” 

The awards and recipients include:

  • The Environmental Justice 21st-Century Outstanding Board Member Award, awarded to Dr. Mamie Parker, a pioneer and leader in the conservation world who broke barriers as the first Black person appointed as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional director. Dr. Parker has been instrumental in the Federation’s Creating Safe Spaces initiative.
  • The Environmental Justice 21st-Century Outstanding Board Member Award, was also awarded to John Robbins, a long-standing leader at the National Wildlife Federation and North Carolina Wildlife Federation, who has dedicated time and leadership to the Creating Safe Spaces initiative along with helping the Federation cultivate new partnerships.
  • The Environmental Justice 21st-Century “Outstanding Program Award,” which was awarded to Earth Tomorrow, a longstanding program at the Federation that has worked with over 5,000 youth, primarily students of color, in conservation action and environmental service learning projects in Atlanta.
  • The Environmental Justice 21st-Century “For The People Award,” awarded to Samantha Lockhart, eastern region field director at the organization, for her recommendations and commitment to environmental justice work across the Federation.
  • The Environmental Justice 21st-Century “For The People Award,” to Antonio Cosme, education coordinator at the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center and program manager for the Detroit Leadership & Environmental Education Program, for creating safe and inclusive spaces for students of color to engage and learn about the environment and mobilizing people across Detroit to advance environmental and climate justice

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