Paul Hawken enthusiastically accepted the Ela Peace Project’s invitation to be its honorary chairman. Friends of the Ela Peace Project are humbled and grateful to have his endorsement.
Hawken epitomizes what it means to be a true Renaissance man. He is a world-renowned author, activist, entrepreneur, and environmentalist. Hawken founded several businesses – Smith & Hawken, Erewhon Trading Company, OneSun (now known as Energy Everywhere), and The Natural Step USA. He has written 7 books and co-authored 3; one of which Ecology of Commerce, was voted the #1 college text on business and environment by professors in 67 business schools. His book Growing a Business, became the basis of a 17-part PBS series. His books have been published in more than 50 countries in 30 languages. He is the founder of Natural Capital Institute, which serves those who are “committed to the restoration of the earth and the healing of human culture” and he created Project Drawdown, which works to drawdown greenhouse gases to reduce climate change.
Since there cannot be peace without social justice, of particular interest to the Ela Peace Project is Hawken’s activism. Hawken worked as press coordinator with Dr. Luther King, Jr.’s staff during the Selma to Montgomery marches. He acted as marshal on the March to Montgomery on March 12, 1965. As a staff photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality in New Orleans he photographed voter registration drives in Louisiana and Florida; as well as the Ku Klux Klan in Meridian, Mississippi following the torture and killing of three civil rights workers. As a result of his work in Meridian, Hawken was assaulted and seized by KKK members. Fortunately, surveillance and intervention by the F.B.I. made it possible for him to escape. The Ela Peace Project is privileged to receive Paul Hawken’s endorsement.
“There is no question that the environmental movement is critical to our survival. Our house is literally burning, and it is only logical that environmentalists expect the social justice movement to get on the environmental bus. But it is the other way around; the only way we are going to put out the fire is to get on the social justice bus and heal our wounds, because in the end, there is only one bus.” Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World,” (New York: Penguin Books, 2007), 190.