In 2018, six different women shared their experiences at the intersection of feminism and environmentalism with HerChesapeake. They recounted their career paths, described their leadership philosophies, and discussed how they have overcome barriers while empowering others to benefit the world around them. Here are four quotes that stood out as we looked back on the past year.
“It’s difficult to go uphill, because we encounter obstacles that make us want to roll back down. Take the blows, but keep getting up, and when you see people fall beside you, pick them up when you can.” —Rhonda Hamilton
Rhonda Hamilton is a member of the Near Buzzard Point Resilient Action Committee and the advisory neighborhood commissioner for residents who live in the Buzzard Point neighborhood. She joined filmmaker Alisha Camacho and activist Kari Fulton for a panel discussion about their work to protect the Washington, D.C., community threatened by pollution, development and environmental injustice.
“Do not be afraid to be unapologetically yourself. You are knowledgeable. That’s why they hired you. You are qualified to do your job. Remind yourself every day that you are a badass.” —Dominique Skinner
Domonique Skinner is a native Washingtonian who began her career in conservation creating environment-based youth and community programs with Groundwork Anacostia River DC. She is now the Director of Workforce Development for Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region, which uses urban, natural and maritime resources as “living classrooms” while providing young people with hands-on education and job training.
“On the Eastern Shore, you’re either a ‘been there’ or a ‘come here.’ There’s a lot of tension between these two groups, and I have the advantage and disadvantage of having a foot on both sides. The most successful thing I’ve been able to do is to speak to both.” —Laura Sanford
As president of the Corsica River Conservancy, Laura Sanford works hard to motivate members of her community to protect their local waterway. She is an Eastern Shore native and active conservationist who explained how she brings community members her constituents together in support of a common goal.
“In my experience, it’s not about you—it’s about other people. You have to talk to them, you have to listen to them and you have to ask them what matters to them.” —Marcia Pradines
In her work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marcia Pradines prioritizes partnerships. She described how listening to constituents and learning what matters to a community is the first step in achieving conservation goals.