Terry Tempest Williams
Terry Tempest Williams, Author, Conservationist, and Activist.
"That is the question, isn’t it? And would you believe me if I told you that at fifty-seven years of age, I don’t know? Even as a woman who has a voice in the world, I struggle to find it, to use it, to keep it, to stretch it, to take risks with my words. And I don’t think I’m alone. I think the most powerful women among us struggle with how to use their voice. Because I think what every woman knows, is that when she speaks her truth she is at risk—whether it’s Hillary Clinton or a rural woman in Rwanda."
"Wangari Maathai [the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Kenyan activist] was my great mentor. I met her when I was twenty-nine years old in Nairobi, when I was attending the 1985 Women’s Forum during the UN Decade for Women. It was Wangari who spoke and spoke out loudly saying, 'Women’s issues are environmental issues are issues of social justice. No separation.' I left the conference and followed Wangari into the villages in Kenya where I saw rural women literally gathering seeds in the folds of their skirts, planting trees, stabilizing the soil, stopping deforestation, so they wouldn’t have to spend eight to ten hours a day in search of water and wood for fuel to feed their families. That sparked a revelation in me. Seeing the world whole through women. Raise a woman’s status and you raise the status of the whole community.”
"I don’t think there is anything as powerful as an active heart. And the activists I know possess this powerful beating heart of change. They do not fear the wisdom of emotion, but embody it. They know how to listen. They are polite when they need to be and unyielding when necessary. They remain open, even as they push boundaries and inhabit the margins, understanding eventually, the margins will move toward the center. They are tenacious, informed, patient, and impatient, at once. They do not shy away from what is difficult. They refuse to accept the unacceptable. The most effective activists I know are in love with the world. A good activist builds community."
Guernica, Photograph via KPFA