Senator John Heinz

RELATED NEWS

  • Vanity Fair interviews Natasha Trethewey about her work and new retrospective poetry collection, "Monument" go >>
  • The New York Times reviews 'Relations,' with Ralph Lemon, Bebe Miller and Ishmael Houston-Jones go >>
  • Natasha Trethewey is interviewed by NPR's Weekend Edition go >>
  • John Luther Adams writes for The Guardian on why he chose music over activism go >>
  • George Hatsopoulos, 3rd Heinz Awards recipient in Technology, the Economy and Employment, dies at 91 go >>
  • Arthur Mitchell, 7th Heinz Awards recipient for Arts and Humantities, dies at 84 go >>
  • John Luther Adams' work, In the Name of the Earth, to premiere in Central Park this Saturday go >>
  • Dave Eggers writes an article for The Guardian about The International Congress of Youth Voices go >>
  • TIME interviews Mona Hanna-Attisha on the occasion of her new book go >>
  • The Carnegie Corporation honors Mona Hanna-Attisha as one of 38 Distinguished Immigrants for 2018 go >>
  • Michelle Alexander to join The New York Times opinion pages go >>
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha is interviewed by Rachel Maddow go >>
  • Ann Hamilton's O N E E V E R Y O N E receives the Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network award go >>
  • Hugh Herr has a new TED talk on what it would really mean to be a cyborg go >>
  • Jake Wood of Team Rubicon to receive the Pat Tillman Award for Service at 2018 ESPYs go >>
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha adapts a chapter from her new book for The New York Times' Op-Ed page go >>
  • Greg Asner helps to create high-resolution maps of Caribbean coral reefs go >>
  • Dee Boersma and her work are featured in The Pew Charitable Trusts' "After the Fact" podcast go >>
  • James Nachtwey is profiled by The Times in London as his new show, Memoria, is on in Paris go >>
  • Rita Dove talks to the Columbia Journalism Review on pairing poetry with journalism go >>
  • Abraham Verghese writes a piece for The New York Times Magazine on one major downside of electronic health records go >>
  • Sierra magazine profiles the ongoing challenges Beverly Wright and others face in combating environmental racism in New Orleans go >>
  • The LA Times explores John Luther Adams' career and his most recent work go >>
  • Mason Bates to premiere his new work, "Garden of Eden," with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra go >>
  • Jane Lubchenco receives 2018 Vannevar Bush Award go >>
  • Salman Khan receives the 2018 Visonary of the Year Award form The San Francisco Chronicle go >>
  • John Luther Adams writes in the New York Times what it is like to hear the desert in music go >>
  • Freeman Hrabowski III reflects in The Atlantic on UMBC's successes in closing the achievement gap go >>
  • John Luther Adams and his new compositition, Become Desert, are profiled by the Seattle Times go >>
  • Elizabeth Kolbert explores our misunderstandings about race and our genetic heritage for National Geographic go >>
  • Gretchen Daily is profiled in Stanford Magazine about helping organizations understand Natural Capital go >>
  • John Luther Adams writes about Alaska and his new work, Become Desert, for Slate go >>
  • Leroy Hood reflects on almost two decades with the Institute for Systems Biology go >>
  • Freeman Hrabowski III to receive the American Council on Education’s Lifetime Achievement Award go >>
  • James Nachtwey's series on opioid addiction is TIME's first issue devoted entirely to one photographer's work go >>
  • Dan Sperling co-authors piece on the significant benefits of using Uber and Lyft for carpooling go >>
  • Hal Harvey co-authors an Op-Ed for The New York Times on a utility's embrace of wind and solar go >>
  • Sanjeev Arora writes Op-Ed for The Hill on why rural Americans lack access to quality health care go >>
  • Jacques d'Amboise and an event on 'Balanchine's Guys' is profiled by New York Times go >>
  • Nadine Burke Harris is interviewed about her work on childhood trauma by The New York Times go >>
  • The Los Angeles Times reviews Dave Egger's new book, The Monk of Mokha go >>
  • Nadine Burke Harris is profiled on NPR about her work and new book, The Deepest Well go >>
  • Paul Farmer is awarded the National Academy of Sciences' 2018 Public Welfare Award go >>
  • A 2014 stage adaptation of Natasha Trethewey’s poetry collection, Native Guard, is performed at the Atlanta History Center go >>
  • Sal Khan is named 2018 Visionary of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle go >>
  • The New York Times looks at how some U.S. prisons have restricted prisoner access to Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow go >>
  • Freeman Hrabowski talks to The Baltimore Sun about being inspired to march as a teenager by Martin Luther King Jr. go >>
  • Bruce Katz co-authors a new book, The New Localism, on the evolving importance of metropolitan areas go >>
  • The Flux podcast talks in depth with Dean Kamen about inventing go >>
  • Politico profiles Dean Kamen’s work on the ARMI Initiative for regenerative organ medicine go >>
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha's work in Flint, MI, highlights a rising focus on environmental health impacts in medicine go >>
  • Sangeeta Bhatia is profiled in Brown University's alumni magazine go >>
  • John Holdren to receive the 2018 Moynihan Prize from The American Academy of Political and Social Science go >>
  • The Wall Street Journal profiles Joseph DeSimone's 3D printing company, Carbon, and its partnership with Adidas go >>
  • Mason Bates is named Musical America's 2018 Composer of the Year go >>
  • Steve Wozniak to launch Woz U, an education program to help people enter into the tech workforce go >>
  • Jacques d'Amboise is interviewed on the Leonard Lopate Show go >>
  • Roz Chast's relationship to NYC is profiled in The New York Times go >>
  • Jerry Franklin and his ideas for new forestry practices are profiled in Science go >>
  • Greg Asner is interviewed by NPR's Living On Earth go >>
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha is interviewed by WESA public radio in Pittsburgh go >>
  • Rita Dove is profiled as one of TIME Firsts: Women Leaders Who Are Changing the World go >>
  • Hugh Herr is profiled in-depth by Outside Magazine go >>
  • The Los Angeles Times explores John Luther Adams’ new art installation at UC San Diego go >>
  • Bruce Katz co-authors new research on how cities can deliver better outcomes for children and youth go >>
  • The New York Times Travel Section explores August Wilson's Pittsburgh go >>
  • John Holdren receives the Huntington Environmental Prize from Woods Hole Research Center go >>
  • Dean Kamen launches BioFabUSA to aggregate technologies for creating human tissue and organs go >>
  • John Harbison is profiled by the Wisconsin Gazette go >>
  • Janine Benyus and her work is profiled on the 20th anniversary of her book, “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature” go >>
  • NPR explores the creation of Mason Bates' first opera, The (R)evolution Of Steve Jobs go >>
  • Herbert Needleman, 2nd Heinz Award recipient for the Environment, who exposed developmental dangers of lead exposure, dies at 89 go >>
  • John Luther Adams' music gets a five-day festival courtesy of SFJAZZ go >>
  • Hugh Herr and his work is profiled in a BBC News article on prosthetics go >>
  • Aaron Wolf is interviewed by The Texas Tribune go >>
  • 'Bending the Arc,' a documentary about Paul Farmer's organization, Partners In Health, is reviewed in Nature go >>
  • Gretchen Daily is 2017 recipient of the Asahi Blue Planet Prize go >>
  • Roz Chast is profiled in The Daily Beast go >>
  • August Wilson's 'Jitney' captures best play revival at 2017 Tony Awards go >>
  • Frederica Perera writes OpEd piece on prenatal environmental risks for The New York Times go >>
  • Bernice Johnson Reagon and Sweet Honey in the Rock is profiled by PBS' American Masters go >>
  • Herb Needleman and his pioneering work on lead poisoning is profiled by NOVA Next go >>
  • Rick Lowe is named as a 2017 Graham Foundation recipient go >>
  • John Luther Adams' work with bird song is explored by the New York TImes go >>
  • John Harbison is profiled on NPR's Nashville Symphony Broadcasts go >>
  • Freeman Hrabowski is profiled in The New York Times' Corner Office series go >>
  • Leila Janah is profiled in The New York Times' Corner Office series go >>
  • John Holdren speaks out on the need to defend the role of science go >>
  • Nancy Knowlton writes Op-Ed for Nature magazine on encouraging conservation through celebrating our successes go >>
  • Elizabeth Kolbert receives the 2017 Blake-Dodd Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters go >>

The Heinz Awards

1999

Lois Gibbs

Lois Gibbs shares the Heinz Award in the Environment for demonstrating the importance of citizen activists in protecting both the health of their communities and the environment as a whole.

In 1978, when the first discovery of toxic waste occurred, the residents of Love Canal, near Niagara Falls, New York, discovered that their homes and their children were being poisoned by industrial toxic waste dumped there decades before. After her own son became ill, Lois Gibbs, then a young housewife and a high school graduate, educated herself about toxic waste issues and, as head of her neighborhood association, became the spokesperson for the 1,000 families in Love Canal. Her mission was set. She addressed college classes, gave press conferences, and was eventually invited to testify before Congress. She acted to challenge the government at all levels to redress this environmental assault on her community and, thankfully for all of us, she succeeded.

The victory at Love Canal, and the attention brought to it by Lois Gibbs, awakened the nation to the hazards of chemicals in our environment. A message was sent that individuals can act against powerful industrial and governmental forces to protect themselves, their homes and their families. That message is still reverberating across the land.

Ms. Gibbs did not stop with her victory at Love Canal. In 1981, she established the Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes to provide the information and support needed to empower other communities to organize themselves to reduce and eliminate threats from toxic substances and other environmental ills. Her message was not "not in my backyard," but "not in anybody's backyard."

Ms. Gibbs and her organization continue to grow intellectually and in effectiveness. Now renamed the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, its mission has moved beyond toxic wastes to embrace a wide spectrum of environmental health issues, becoming the leading crusader for environmental equity in the nation. Working with a slender budget, she and the Center now provide information, training, and inspiration to more than 8,000 local groups throughout the United States.

Lois Gibbs has been at the heart of campaigns that have increased public awareness in unprecedented ways and led to major responses by public agencies and elected officials throughout the country. Her work has been critical to the passage and continuing success of the Superfund program in cleaning up hundreds of hazardous waste sites across the United States.

Love Canal was not the first toxic waste dump in America, but it did change the way society thinks about the disposal of such material. Likewise, much of the history of American environmentalism in the past 20 years reflects the leadership and genius of Lois Gibbs. The community participation and local empowerment she pioneered became part of later statues and regulatory policy. Her early writings on community involvement in environmental issues were the blueprint for a form of participation that is now commonplace.

At a time when local action is of increasing importance in the work to preserve public health and the natural world, Lois Gibbs continues to inspire and empower a growing number of Americans to help themselves, their communities, and the planet.

Note: This profile is excerpted from the commemorative brochure published at the time of the awards' presentation.


UPDATES SINCE RECEIVING THE HEINZ AWARD

December 2005 - Gibbs' Center for Health, Environment and Justice leads "a drive to eliminate packaging or products that use what it calls 'the poison plastic'"or polyvinyl chloride packaging. Recently major companies including Microsoft and Crabtree & Evelyn have agreed to phase out PVC packaging, attesting to the success of Gibbs' newest campaign. - Plastics News

March 2005 - Gibbs meets with officials from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Canada to demand that they "test every child in the Belledune area for lead poisoning" after heavy metal contamination from a nearby smelter has caused serious health concerns. - The Canadian Press

March 2004 - As the federal government prepares to take Love Canal off the nation's Superfund list, Gibbs criticizes Congress for failing to reauthorize the corporate taxes that once helped pay for Love Canal and many other toxic cleanups. - The Oregonian

September 2003 - Gibbs' Center for Health, Environment and Justice is soon to become the new coordinator of the Environmental Health Alliance, a coalition that includes 160 organizations and which is formed around the Blueprint Ensuring our Safety and Economy (BESAFE) movement. This new direction comes during the 25th anniversary of Gibbs' original crusade at Love Canal. The new BESAFE movement is aimed at forcing the government to "heed early warnings about hazardous materials, put safety first, utilize a democratic decision-making process, and choose the safest solution." - E Magazine

January 2002 - Gibbs, along with the Child Proofing Our Communities Campaign, conducts a study that concludes that there are staggering numbers of schools being built on or around toxic sites. The study also "notes there has been a sharp increase in the number of children afflicted with asthma, cancer, diminished IQs and learning disabilities", thus indicating that the situation could potentially be grave and needs to be addressed. - The Washington Post

March 2000 - Gibbs joins protesting residents in South Buffalo "during a 'toxic tour.'" The protestors and Gibbs were demanding that the city take action against the "large deposits of cancer-causing coke wastes" in the area. - Buffalo News

December 1999 - The agency responsible for the clean up of Gibbs Love Canal, the Love Canal Revitalization Agency, is officially relieved of its burden as it has successfully "restored and sold 239 homes." While "Love Canal lives on" as an example about the seriousness of toxic waste, "the agency's job is done" and it will be closed shortly. - Buffalo News

February 1999 - Gibbs is one of six women to be inducted into the Western New York Women's Hall of Fame. Gibbs is being recognized for her tireless work with Love Canal, "a campaign that led to the relocation of families from the chemically contaminated site in Niagara Falls and drew national attention to toxic waste sites." - Buffalo News

January 1999 - Gibbs receives the John W. Gardner Leadership Award for her selfless work at Love Canal and more recently at the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. - Independent Sector

Lois Gibbs