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Youth & Family

Happy Wangari Day! The Birthday of an Ethical Hero

By April 1, 2023April 1st, 2024No Comments


Celebrate the B-EARTH DAY of an Ethical Hero… Dr. Wangari Maathai

…Below are gifts for you in honor of her.

The First is An All Society Platform of the American Ethical Union featuring vision of community development offered by Intergenerational Community program developer Audrey Kindred, called Human-I-Tree, Communitree, Unitree!


April 1st, 1940 is the birthdate of an ethical hero whose work as a scientist and community activist laid ground for our modern environmental movement.  Inspired by Wangari Maathai, Young Ethical Explorers nurtures TREE-voices… We have done this in many ways, over years, including inviting artist in residence Jody Sperling to “grow her tree dance” through rehearsal processes in Ethical Culture’s lovely spaces.  This tree bears the stunning fruit of performances inspired by nature… In honor of the B-EARTH DAY of Dr. Wangari Maathai, here is a film about the deep work she has inspired with the Young Ethical Explorers (footage from last spring, 2022).  It features tree voice development, as we personalize the learning we glean from trees, as a Communitree…

In 2001, Wangari Maathai came to NYC and visited the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. There, she joined the circle of children, with teachers Audrey Kindred and Simba Yangala, and spoke with the adults at platform.  Three years, later,  she was honored internationally with the Nobel Peace Prize, presented by Al Gore.  This was a revolution in peace-work itself.  To what human’s traditionally honored as PEACE (which was relations between humans), Dr. Wangari Maathai asserted the essential element of: our mutual care of the EARTH.  She was the first Black African woman to gain recognition by the Nobel Peace Committee.  She was introduced to Ethical by long time Leader of Ethical Culture from Long Island, Arthur Dobrin, and hosted by Leader Emeritus, Lisel Burns.   Ever since meeting her, both teachers (Simba and Audrey) who met her that day, have honored her birthday with majesty, through education of young ethical explorers in many venues, from schools to Ethical Culture itself.

Below is one more wonderful link — (especially for educators!) sharing many many ways Young Ethical Explorers have developed “tree voices” in honor of Wangari Maathai for many years… so YOU CAN TOO!

Earth-work to honor of Dr. Wangari Maathai!

Audrey Kindred

Audrey Kindred leads programming for youth and families at Ethical NYC

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