2016 Winner Overcame Many Obstacles from Ugandan Farm to University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
The Bullitt Foundation announced today the winner of the 10th Annual Bullitt Environmental Prize, which recognizes people with extraordinary potential to become powerful and effective leaders in the environmental movement.
The 2016 Bullitt Prize winner is Carol Bogezi, a PhD student in the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Her research is focused on reducing conflict between people and wildlife in the fast-growing Puget Sound region. Bogezi ultimately plans to apply her work back home in Uganda.
“We created the Bullitt Prize because the environmental movement is really about people, and right now too many people are left out,” said Denis Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation and first national organizer of Earth Day in 1970. “Carol is exactly the type of smart, motivated leader we need to tackle the challenges in front of us,” he added.
A recent report by Green 2.0 found that people of color represent 16 percent of the boards and staff of environmental organizations, despite representing nearly 40 percent of the US population as a whole.
The Bullitt Environmental Prize is awarded to people who have overcome big obstacles and who bring new perspectives to environmental work. Raised on a farm, Bogezi is the oldest child in a large polygamous family, which required her to hone her diplomacy skills early in life. As a young woman in a patriarchal society, she had to overcome social pressures against women, both in her quest for education and again when she took control of her family’s farm after her parents passed away.
Through these challenges, Bogezi never lost her passion for science and conservation and in 2012 she received the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Beinecke Africa Wildlife Conservation Scholarship, which allowed her to pursue a PhD.
The 2016 Bullitt Prize is being presented to Bogezi at an awards banquet in Seattle, with Dr. Allison Chin – former national president of the Sierra Club – offering the keynote presentation.
Bullitt Prize winners receive $100,000 over two years to advance their work. Past winners include a veterinarian who offers a free clinic for pets of homeless Seattle residents, a researcher focused on climate change adaptation, and an advocate for food security.