When Mallory McDuff sat down to write about women taking climate action, she did not want to focus only on famous scientists and activists.
“It was important to me to have those stories. But I also wanted to have stories of people that are well known in their local communities, but not across the country,” she says.
McDuff is a professor of environmental education at Warren Wilson College and the author of “Love Your Mother,” a new book chronicling 50 women climate leaders — one in each of the 50 states.
The book profiles some well-known researchers like atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe and marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson.
But it also includes stories of people like Jess Benjamin, a sculptor who makes art about water and drought, and Kendra Pinto, a clean air and water advocate from the Navajo Nation.
“And so there’s a lot of stories of grassroots community leaders that people may not have heard of,” McDuff says. “There are poets. There are community organizers, teachers, educators, students, farmers.”
She says this diversity is important. Each woman brings something unique to the climate movement.
“The lesson to me was: every one of us, there’s an intersection with what our strengths are … and what the world needs to confront the climate emergency,” she says.
Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman/ChavoBart Digital Media