Climate justice, feisty women, and peace

Strong and feisty Sherry Hutchison with members of the Des Moines Branch. Credit Erica McCroskey.

By Jan Corderman, Leadership Team Member, Des Moines Branch

The Des Moines Branch held their annual Strong Feisty Woman Award ceremony on May 13, 2016. Keeping to the theme of climate justice, women, and peace, guests were invited to discuss the fracking industry with the national awardee, Wenonah Hauter, the founder and executive director of Food and Water Watch and the author of "Foodopoly: The Battle over the Future of Food and Farming in America" (New Press, 2012) and a new book, "Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy" and the Environment, released June 7.

Hauter’s remarks focused on this new and controversial energy extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which has rocketed to the forefront of U.S. energy production. With fracking, millions of gallons of water, dangerous chemicals, and sand are injected under high pressure deep into the earth, fracturing hard rock to release oil and gas. One of the nation’s leading public interest advocates, she argues that the rush to fracking is dangerous to the environment and treacherous to human health.

WILPF’s local award was presented to longtime peace activist and branch member Sherry Hutchison. Sherry has received, among her many past honors, the prestigious Dingman Peace Award for her complete dedication to justice and peace. You can still find Sherry, even at age 97, at the Peace Garden in Cowles Commons in Des Moines during the peace vigil held there every Thursday at noon. She may be holding a sign that says: “Love = Peace; Fear = War. Choose Love.”

Another Strong Feisty Woman, Jane Addams, posed for photos. And, throughout the evening, the Raging Grannies led everyone in song. Lyrics by branch member Jan Hill honored the two winners and addressed the issues they continue to fight for.

The fourteen co-sponsors of the event introduced their organizations to interested guests.

Photo: Jane with Des Moines Branch members Marti Anderson and Bob Brammer. Credit Jan Corderman.

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