United Workers Youth Leader Receives Goldman Environmental Prize

The Goldman Environmental Foundation today announced the six recipients of the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize, the world’s largest award for grassroots environmental activists. Awarded annually to environmental heroes from each of the world’s six inhabited continental regions, the Goldman Prize recognizes fearless grassroots activists for significant achievements in protecting the environment and their communities. Baltimore youth leader, Destiny Watford, is one of the six global winners, for her work to spearhead efforts to stop the nation’s largest trash burning incinerator from being built less than a mile from her public high school in Curtis Bay.

The winners will be awarded the Prize at an invitation-only ceremony today at 5:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Opera House (this event will be live streamed online at www.goldmanprize.org/ceremony). A ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. will follow on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Watford began organizing four years ago as part of Free Your Voice, a human rights committee of United Workers. At the time she was a high school student at Benjamin Franklin High School less than a mile from the incinerator site. Last year she helped to persuade nearly two dozen municipalities and school boards including Baltimore City Public Schools to end their support for the incinerator. Most recently Watford and other students and community leaders won a major victory when the Maryland Department of Environment terminated the permit for the project after months of public pressure by residents.

“The world is watching Baltimore and the injustice that we face. After the tragic death of Freddie Gray and the unrest that followed, serious questions about structural racism and  economic inequality, are rightfully being asked. My community has responded to this deep inquiry by fighting to stop the incinerator and demand community control of land. I am proud to serve as a representative of Free Your Voice, my city, and state as we continue to build a movement to change our city and nation towards environmental justice, truly green living-wage jobs, and affordable housing, to ensure that our basic human rights to live in a healthy, sustainable community are met.”

Call to Action

#1. FMC, Free the Land!

Now that Maryland state officials enforced the law and terminated the incinerator's permit - it's time to move forward with the community driven plan to develop a community owned solar farm. In order to do so, we all need to join together and call upon the CEO of FMC Corporation Pierre R Brondeau to release 90 acres of land being held by the trash burning incinerator company in order to make way for a community owned solar farm. Join in the call now!  

# 2. End Public Subsidies for Trash Incinerators!

To ensure that our precious public resources don't continue going to support toxic incinerator developments, we also need to call upon the EPA and Maryland state government to stop subsidizing trash incinerators! Join in the call now! 

#3. Support Development without Displacement!

Finally, help sustain grassroots efforts led by people directly impacted by environmental injustice. Donate to support the grassroots campaign in Baltimore calling for public investment in equitable and sustainable development. Click here to donate now!

Showing 7 reactions

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  • Mary Jenkins
    Great job Destiny. I am going to post this in our local Detroit online magazine to get the word out. We are working hard to protect the environment here as well. http://www.metrodetroitreview.com
  • Jenn McKinley
    Destiny Watford deserved that award hands down. I had the pleasure of meeting her briefly and she’s truly a sincere wholehearted woman. I have respect for her and can’t wait to see what youth inspired by her will create in the world. Will there be another award for 2019?
    Thank you!
    Jenn McKinley
  • Justin Roy
    Is this still an actionable plan. My brother lives on the east coast while I work my tail off down here in south Louisiana. I’ve been sending him funds as he is out of work at the moment. I don’t expect him to repay me but I would like him to give back somehow. Maybe he can help support the cause and take action. I’ve been trying to get him to come back home and work with me at <a href=“”https://www.lafoundationrepairs.com" rel="nofollow">https://www.lafoundationrepairs.com">https://www.lafoundationrepairs.com</a> and let it be known that we are hiring. If you are interested or are out of work and want to work with a growing company contact us at our website. Please let me know so that I can pass the info to my brother Cy.
  • Sam Manning
    One huge thing I find that people are not focusing on is how current students are the future’s population. This is so amazing, I love it when people contribute this way. Thank you for your contribution, I am so thankful to read posts like this. It’s posts like these and blogs like these https://fruitsforglutesfitness.com that show us how much contributing helps. Thank you!
  • Pedro Wilechia
    This is crazy; it just shows you how much difference one person can make. I will never understand the overall resistance to progress; to solar energy; to sustainability; to change for the better in general. Thank you for the hard work that you do Destiny Watford.
    Pedro Hernandez
  • Amanda Smith
    I’m also a student of Benjamin Franklin High School. What a coinsidence! But I’m kind of ashamed, because I’m looking for cheap homework for sale in places like this one http://www.funlearningprogramme.com/5-advantages-in-using-homework-assignments-for-sale
    instead of doing more responsible things:(
  • Michael Hoskinson
    Students have always been driving force in the society; full of enthusiasm and energy they aspired to change this world for better according to http://www.paytowriteessay.net/ and here we see how much one person can contribute. Dignified example to follow and true hero!