Lois Gibbs – In the spring of 1978, Lois Marie Gibbs discovered that her child was attending an elementary school built on top of a 20,000-ton toxic-chemical dump in Niagara Falls, New York. Desperate to do something about it, she organized her neighbors into the Love Canal Homeowners Association. In 1981, Lois created the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, an organization that has assisted over 11,000 grassroots groups with organizing, technical, and general information nationwide. Today, Lois serves as Executive Director and speaks with communities nationwide and internationally about toxic chemicals and children’s unique vulnerability to environmental exposures.
Natalie Merchant – Natalie Merchant began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs and released two platinum and four gold records with the group between 1981 and 1993. Together with artists like R.E.M., they defined college rock and created the first wave of alternative rock bands and what became known as the alternative rock format on FM radio. In 1994, Natalie Merchant began her solo career with a self-produced debut album, Tigerlily (1995). In the years following, she released Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999) and Motherland (2001) followed by an album of American and British folk music, The House Carpenter’s Daughter, on her own label, Myth America Records.
Merchant has collaborated both on stage and in the studio with a wide range of artists including Philip Glass, Wynton Marsalis, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Mavis Staples, REM, Daniel Lanois, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Tracy Chapman, Dan Zanes, Billy Bragg and Wilco. Throughout her career, Merchant has also been dedicated to supporting a variety of non-profit organizations by lending financial support and raising public awareness. Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, The Center for Constitutional Rights, Doctors Without Borders, Tibet House, Greenpeace, The Southern Center for Human Rights and Planned Parenthood are among the social justice groups to which she has been devoted. Merchant has also served as an appointed member of the prestigious New York State Council on the Arts (2007-2011).
Mark Ruffalo – Mark Ruffalo is an Oscar-nominated actor who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the award winning film “The Kids Are All Right”. This spring he starred as Bruce Banner, The Hulk in the blockbuster hit THE AVENGERS. He portrayed Stan in ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, Inspector David Toschi in the 2007 film ZODIAC and US Marshall Chuck Aule in SHUTTER ISLAND.
He is also an advocate of addressing climate change and renewable energy. In March 2011, Mark co-founded Water Defense to raise awareness about energy extraction impact on water and the public health. A regular contributor to the Guardian and the Huffington Post, Mark is a recent recipient of the Global Green Millennium Award for Environmental Leadership, and the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation Award. He was named one of Time Magazine’s “People Who Mattered” in 2011.
Sandra Steingraber – Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority on the environment links to cancer and human health. Steingraber’s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment presents cancer as a human rights issue. Originally published in 1997, it was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries and won praise from international media including The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, The Lancet, and The London Times.
Concerned Citizens Group Town of Oneonta
Democratic Organization of the County of Richmond
Environmental Activism Club – SUNY Oneonta
Food Sustainability Club – Brooklyn College
Franklin Local Ltd.
Hispanic Community of Great Neck
JAX Against Fracking
Keuka Citizens Against Hydrofracking
The Kirkland Committee to Prohibit Hydrofracking
Long Island Men’s Center
Lower East Side Coalition to Stop Hydraulic Fracturing
New Paltz Defense Against Fracking
New York Grail
NY Kayakers Against Fracking
New York Quakers
NY Residents Against Drilling (NYRAD)
Oxfam America at NYU
Plymouth Friends of Clean Water
PRTC – People Recovering Through Christ
R-CAUSE (Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-Gas Extraction)
Residents of Crumhorn
Rockland Coalition Against Fracking
Sharon Springs Against Fracking
Skaneateles Citizens Hydrofracking Committee
Southern Cayuga Anti-Fracking Alliance
SPARC (Stewart Park and Reserve Coalition)
Staten Island Democratic Association
Strathmore Civic Association
Sullivan Area Citizens for Responsible Energy Development (SACRED)
SUNY Cortland Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies Environmental Justice Committee
Teens Making a Difference
Temple Beth El, Cedarhurst
Unadilla Friends and Neighbors
Vestal Residents for Safe Energy
We Are Women Warriors
WNY Drilling Defense
YouthNow Activist Network