Environmental Prize Winner to Speak, May 12

Kimberly Wasserman, 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize winner, will give a talk on Monday, May 12 at 7 p.m. in Harbach Theatre, Ford Center for the Fine Arts.

A Chicana born and raised in Little Village, Chicago, Kimberly Wasserman grew up less than a mile away from one of the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants. The plants were linked to 40 premature deaths and thousands of serious health issues suffered by the local community members, including her infant son.

Kim became the community organizer for the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), empowering her neighbors (mostly Latino families, including many non-English speaking residents) to advocate for their human right to live and raise their children in a neighborhood free from toxic pollution.

By 2012, thanks to the work of Kim and LVEJO, the Chicago Clean Power Coalition had been formed, and a Clean Power Ordinance put into effect. As a result, the power plants adjacent to Little Village were shut down.

Kim Wasserman continues to train youth in her community, and advocate for residents’ rights and collaborative community endeavors. Her work earned her the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize.