IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College


Author stresses environment for Women’s History Month

IV Leader Staff

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Several campus groups are teaming up to bring author and environmental activist Diane Wilson to IVCC on March 20.  Wilson is described as an eco-warrior in action.

A fourth-generation shrimper, Wilson began fishing the bays off the Gulf Coast of Texas at the age of 8.

By 24, she was a boat captain. In 1989, while running her brother’s fish house at the docks and mending nets, she read a newspaper article that listed her home of Calhoun County as the number one toxic polluter in the country.

She set up a meeting in the town hall to discuss what the chemical plants were doing to the bays and thus began her life as an environmental activist. Threatened by thugs and despised by her neighbors, Wilson insisted the truth be told and that Formosa Plastics stop dumping toxins into the bay.

Since then, she has launched legislative campaigns, demonstrations, and countless hunger strikes to raise awareness for environmental and human rights abuses.

Wilson speaks to the core of courage in each person and asks people to act on their convictions.

She has been honored with a number of awards for her work, including: National Fisherman Magazine Award, Mother Jones’s Hell Raiser of the Month, Louis Gibbs’ Environmental Lifetime Award, Louisiana Environmental Action (LEAN) Environmental Award, Giraffe Project, Jenifer Altman Award, Blue Planet Award and the Bioneers Award.

She is also a co-founder of CODEPINK, the Texas Jail Project, Texas Injured Workers, Injured Workers National Network and continues to lead the fight for social justice.

Wilson is the author “Diary of an Eco Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth” and “An Unreasonable Woman.”

“We believe that bringing her to IVCC will be an excellent opportunity for our students, staff and community to learn more about important environmental issues and how a single person can make a difference,” said IVCC Diversity Chairwoman Amanda Cook Fesperman. “Her message is especially relevant to our area as people in Naplate and Wedron are dealing with ground water pollution, and many are fighting to keep Mississippi Sand out of Starved Rock.”

Wilson will be speaking twice on March 20 – at noon and 2 p.m. in C-316.

She will also be signing copies of her book after the 2 p.m. presentation.

In addition to her presentation, a campus-wide education program about environmental issues in the IVCC district will be taking place.  Look for tables in the lobby.  Anyone with questions can contact Amanda Cook Fesperman at 224-0203.

The sponsors of Wilson’s presentation are the IVCC Diversity Team, IV Sustainability, The International Club, Student Government, PTK, Student Nurses Association, Indefinite Limits, S.A.G.E. and the Gay Straight Alliance.

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IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College
Author stresses environment for Women’s History Month