In the spirit of Martin Luther King Day, Two Views is highlighting 5 activists working to secure equal rights and social justice around the world. Here is our list of 5 tireless advocates who have dared to speak up in the hope of making our lives better:
- Fatima Jibrell
In a country that lacked a central government for nearly two decades, the fate of Somalia’s environment would seem nearly futile. Fatima Jibrell, however, persevered as an environmental activist working to empower local communities to conserve and manage their natural resources. In the wake of Somalia’s 1991 civil war, she co-founded the non-profit organization Adeso (previously called the Horn of Africa Relief and Develop Organization). In recognition of her advocacy of community-driven environmental consciousness, Jibrell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2002 and the National Geographic/Buffet Award for Leadership in African Conservation in 2007. Most recently in November 2014, she became Somalia’s first Champion of the Earth, the United Nations top environment award.
- Emily Stanger
In 2012, Forbes Magazine named Emily Stanger to its Top 30 Under 30 list. Since then, Stanger has been working in Liberia and Sierra Leone to enhance economic opportunities for women in West Africa. In early 2014, when many were fleeing Sierra Leone during the peak of the Ebola outbreak, Emily redirected her efforts and became an advisor in the Office of the President in Sierra Leone to combat the rapid spread of the ebola virus. One of Stanger’s many contributions to organizing Sierra Leone’s ebola response was spearheading the transformation of a local hotline into a high capacity call center that answered and responded to more than 2,000 ebola-related calls daily. Stanger continues to work tirelessly with the hope that Sierra Leone will be ebola-free in the very near future.