Thursday, November 10, 2011

Addendum: The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes

This is a compelling video of Severn Suzuki of Vancouver speaking for the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), a group of 12 and 13-year-olds trying to tell adults that they must change their ways.  "I have no hidden agenda," she said.  "I am fighting for my future." 

In 1992 at age 12, she and Michelle Quigg, Vanessa Suttil, and Morgan Geisler raised money to journey 5,000 to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and gave this address to the UN Conference on Environment & Development (UNCED).

Since her 1992 appearance, the Canadian environmental activist, speaker, television host and author has spoken around the world about environmental issues, urging listeners to define their values, act with the future in mind, and take individual responsibility.

Cullis-Suzuki was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Her mother is writer Tara Elizabeth Cullis. Her father, geneticist and environmental activist David Suzuki, is a third-generation Japanese Canadian. While attending Lord Tennyson Elementary School in French Immersion, at age 9, she founded the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), a group of children dedicated to learning and teaching other youngsters about environmental issues. In 1992, at age 12, Cullis-Suzuki raised money with members of ECO to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Along with group members , Cullis-Suzuki presented environmental issues from a youth perspective at the summit, where she was applauded for a speech to the delegates. The video has since become a viral hit with over 7 million views. In 1993, Severn was honoured in the United Nations Environment Programme's Global 500 Roll of Honour. In 1993, Doubleday published her book Tell the World (ISBN 0-385-25422-9), a 32-page book of environmental steps for families.

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