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Wangari Maathai

Remembering Wangari Maathai – A Global Treasure

Last month, ovarian cancer claimed another dynamic woman, 71 year-old social activist, ecologist and Nobel Laureate, Wangari Maathai .Born in 1940 in Nyeri, Kenya , Maathai attended school during a time when few Kenyan girls were educated. Although hardly known in the U.S., Maathai received a master’s degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh before returning to Kenya where she earned her Ph.D. – a first for an Eastern African woman – from the University of Nairobi and began advocating for women’s rights and environmental conservation.To call Wangari Maathai an over-achiever would be an understatement. Defined by words like visionary, trailblazer, courageous humanitarian and conservationist, Dr. Maathai leaves behind an illustrious and inspiring legacy.In 1972, Professor Maathai created the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep). Always devoted to her homeland, Maathai also founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977 and began a crusade against African deforestation that res...

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