20-Year Old Destiny Watford Among Youngest Goldman Environmental Prize Recipients
At 20 years of age, Destiny Watford of Baltimore, Maryland has become one of the youngest winners of the international Goldman Environmental Prize. Watford has worked tirelessly over the past three years as an environmental activist in her community, looking to aid in the health of its residents.
Noticing her neighbors, as well as family members including her mother, had suffered from asthma, Watford began educating herself on the connections between pollutant emissions and respiratory issues. When a trash incinerator was approved for construction near two area schools, she took action.
Supporters of the incinerator stated it could produce energy, as well as over a thousand jobs. Proponents, headed by Watford, demanded clean air for the neighborhood's residents. Last month, Watford and her team succeeded in halting construction plans.
Greg Sawtell, an organizer with United Workers, offered, "[Watford] distinguished herself beyond the organizing with her ability to use writing and creative expression through video. Older people said they got involved from their doors being knocked on by Destiny. She inspired a multigenerational struggle. She showed a lot of wisdom and patience."
Baltimore's rate of emission-related deaths surpasses metropolitan giants like New York City and Los Angeles. Watford now focuses her efforts on changing these statistics by advocating for a community-owned solar farm on the site where the incinerator would have been built.
Source: Washington Post