EPISODE 2: THE WHITE MAN STOLE THE WEATHER
MEET THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION
EPISODE 2: THE WHITE MAN STOLE THE WEATHER
Mary and Maeve are talking about money, money. Fighting climate change might be a moral necessity but women are learning to hit vested interests where it hurts the most, in the pocket. They hear from South Africa where the anti-apartheid movement demonstrated the power of the boycott in the 80s before flipping the same tactics to the climate fight. In the US, a wave of organised student campaigning on campuses is helping popularise the divestment movement but it was Standing Rock when indigenous women’s leadership took divestment into the big time, with billions of dollars now moving out of fossil fuels.
Episode notes: This week’s Mothers of Invention are:
Yvette Abrahams (South Africa)
Yvette Abrahams has worked across climate justice, gender rights, food security, economics, indigenous plant research. Her activism began in the anti-apartheid struggle in her native South Africa.
May Boeve (US)
May Boeve is the Executive Director of 350.org, an international movement using online campaigns, grassroots organising and mass public actions to oppose fossil fuel projects, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all.
Tara Houska (First Nation, US)
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Former apartheid activist and Commissioner for Gender Equality, working towards an equitable, low-carbon future for her country
Yvette Abrahams has a rich history working across climate justice, gender rights, food security, economics, indigenous plant research, academia and more – but it all began in the anti-apartheid struggle in her native South Africa.
Yvette was born in Cape Town in the early 1960s to parents of slave and Khoekhoe descent and grew up in exile. She returned home to study at the University of Cape Town in 1983 in time to join the student movement fighting apartheid. Following the end of the oppressive regime, Yvette moved on to focus on feminism and poverty alleviation. She was appointed to the new government’s Commission for Gender Equality where she worked for five years as head of their programmes on poverty, energy and climate change.
Since that time Yvette has worked at the Universities of Cape Town and the Western Cape, consulted for government and NGOs, and published locally and internationally on topics related to gender equality and queer theory, and the history of First Nation South Africans. She now works as a Specialist Advisor for Project 90 by 2030, an organisation working towards a transition to an equitable, low-carbon society in South Africa, and also as an organic farmer and maker of organic and carbon neutral skincare.
Tribal rights attorney and activist, fighting to defund dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure
Tara Houska, Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation, is an attorney and National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth – a Native-led organisation working to create awareness and support for Native environmental issues and develop financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities.
Tara advocates on behalf of tribal nations at the local and federal levels on a wide range of issues impacting Indigenous Peoples, and spent six months on the frontlines in North Dakota fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. She is heavily engaged in the movement to defund fossil fuels – traveling the world to engage major banks and institutions around this goal – and a years-long struggle against Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline.
Tara is also co-founder of Not Your Mascots, a non-profit committed to educating the public about the harms of stereotyping and promoting positive representation of Native Americans in the public sphere, and was advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders.
Activist, organiser and Executive Director of global grassroots climate movement 350.org
May Boeve is the Executive Director of 350.org, an international movement using online campaigns, grassroots organising and mass public actions to oppose fossil fuel projects, take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all.
One of the few female figureheads in the US green movement, May has risen with the organisation to become a leading voice for global divestment from fossil fuels. She founded 350 in 2008 as a student at Middlebury College, alongside a group of fellow students and their lecturer, author Bill McKibben. The organisation is named after 350 parts per million: the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere deemed safe for our global ecosystem.
Since establishing 350.org May has overseen its growth to a major international organisation working in over 180 countries with millions of people to generate the sense of urgency required to tackle the climate crisis. She has also co-authored the book Fight Global Warming Now.