We love summer for so many reasons. It's the time of year when seeds planted in the spring blossom, bloom and grow strong, and it's a time to prepare for the warm gatherings and occasions for sharing that seem to characterize the fall. At WEA, the summer is when we tend partnerships, plan for celebrations to come, and welcome in the amazing interns we've been fortunate enough to work with in summers passed.
This summer is no different, and we're so thrilled to welcome Katie to the team here in Berkeley for her summer break. Meet Katie below!
KATIE DOUGLAS — General Office & Research Intern
— your background/journey to WEA. I’m a student at Brandeis University in Boston, and heading into my senior year with majors in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. I attribute my love of the natural world to my parents for introducing me to redwood trees and blue-bellied lizards. During college I became heavily involved with the organization Half the Sky, and was incredibly moved by their work in providing access to education for girls across the globe. When I stumbled onto WEA I was amazed to find an organization that seemed to perfectly address the intersection of my interests in women’s rights, the environment, and the traditional knowledge of indigenous communities.
2. What do you do at WEA? I’m a General Office Intern so I mainly support Kahea with general administration tasks, such as filing and managing the donor base. Additionally I research ongoing environmental developments for women, and assist with current campaigns.
3. Share 2 unique/fun/crazy/weird things about you that your co-workers do not know! I worked on a farm for several summers, and seriously considered taking a baby goat home with me because I’m obsessed with goats. I have a secret skill for building camp fires.
4. What do you see as the biggest challenge in the intersections of women, indigenous issues and the environment? I think that the mainstream western environmental movement can be very ignorant to what an integral role women and indigenous persons play in the protection of the environment. While I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with the preservation of land, or the legal protection of endangered species, I think that the environmental movement can forget that millions of people around the world are already facing the direct consequences of climate change. Therefore their experiences make them experts on the current effects of climate change, and place them at the most important locations to develop sustainable change with equal access to resources and community training.
5. Tell us about a woman who inspires you and why. Sheryl WuDunn, the co-author of Half the Sky, is one of my biggest inspirations. She has broken so many barriers as a reporter, an educator on women’s rights, and a modern leader. Her work on the direct links from women’s education to a country’s economic prosperity, resource management, and levels of poverty has always reminded me how integral women are to the state of our world.
6. Tell us one thing that surprised you at WEA. WEA is such a close-knit and welcoming community, and everyone made me feel so comfortable on my first day. I was really surprised by how small WEA is, but all these women have accomplished so much. And there are always so many kinds of tea in the office, which is awesome!
7. What do you hope to get out of your time at WEA? I hope to be continuously learning about current global developments and issues that deal with the intersection of women’s rights, the environment, and indigenous rights. I’m also hoping to gain a greater understanding of how non-profits like WEA function, and get to know an amazing group of women leaders.
Meet the rest of the talented interns that have worked with WEA throughout the years here!