Mourning the death of Wangari Maathai, distinguished citizen and devoted member of her community

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  • 12 / Mar / 2013
  • 14 / Mar / 2013
  • 14 / Mar / 2013

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative



LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION mourning the death of Wangari Maathai, distin-
guished citizen and devoted member of her community

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to pay tribute to
citizens of the State of New York whose lifework and civic endeavor
served to enhance the quality of life in their communities and the great
State of New York; and
WHEREAS, Wangari Maathai of Kenya died on September 25, 2011, at the
age of 71; and
WHEREAS, Environmentalist Wangari Maathai began a movement to reforest
her country of Kenya by paying poor women a few shillings to plant
trees; she went on to become the first African woman to win a Nobel
Peace Prize; and
WHEREAS, Born on April 1, 1940, in Nyeri, Kenya, in the foothills of
Mount Kenya, Wangari Maathai was a star student, winning a scholarship
to study biology at Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas,
receiving a degree in 1964; she subsequently earned a Master of Science
degree from the University of Pittsburgh; and
WHEREAS, Wangari Maathai went on to obtain a doctorate in veterinary
anatomy at the University of Nairobi, becoming the first woman in East
or Central Africa to hold such a degree; and
WHEREAS, This remarkable woman distinguished herself in her profession
and by her sincere dedication and substantial contribution to the
welfare of her community; and
WHEREAS, Wangari Maathai's commitment to excellence, and her spirit of
humanity, carried over into all fields of enterprise, including charita-
ble and civic endeavors; and
WHEREAS, One of the most widely respected women on the continent,
Wangari Maathai played many roles - environmentalist, feminist, politi-
cian, professor, human rights advocate and head of the Green Belt Move-
ment, which she founded in 1977 with the mission to plant trees across
Kenya, fight erosion, create firewood for fuel, and create jobs for
women; and
WHEREAS, Wangari Maathai won the Peace Prize in 2004 for what the
Nobel committee called "her contribution to sustainable development,
democracy and peace"; it was a moment of immense pride in Kenya and
across Africa; and
WHEREAS, Her Green Belt Movement has planted more than 30 million
trees in Africa and has helped nearly 900,000 women, according to the
United Nations, while inspiring similar efforts in other African coun-
tries; and
WHEREAS, Wangari Maathai toured the world, speaking out against envi-
ronmental degradation and poverty, which she said were intimately
connected; and
WHEREAS, Wangari Maathai received many honorary degrees, including an
honorary doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, as well as
numerous awards, including the French Legion of Honor and Japan's Grand
Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun; she authored several books,
including UNBOWED: A MEMOIR, published in 2006; and
WHEREAS, Wangari Maathai is survived by three children, Waweru,
Wanjira and Muta, and a granddaughter; and
WHEREAS, Armed with a humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Wangari Maathai leaves behind a legacy which will long
endure the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all
she served and befriended; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of Wangari Maathai, distinguished citizen and devoted
member of her community; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Wangari Maathai.


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