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Celebrate Rose Braz July 30, 2pm at San Francisco’s Brava Theater

Remembering Rose Braz

REMEMBERING ROSE BRAZ

SUNDAY, JULY 30, 2017

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Brava! for Women In the Arts

2781 24th Street, San Francisco, CA

Please RSVP using Evite: http://evite.me/TZXGP2YddY


Dear Friends,

As you know, Rose Braz passed away  on May 3rd, more than three years after she had been diagnosed with brain cancer.  We hope you will join us to celebrate Rose’s remarkable life on July 30.  There will be 2:30 pm program with reception to follow. Doors open at 2:00 pm.

Rose Braz, the Greatest Human We Ever Met

Before she died, Rose asked that any memorial donations on her behalf be given to Wild Equity. We also would like to share some background about the significance of  Wild Equity  in Rose’s life.

Wild Equity was founded in 2009 by Rose’s husband, Brent Plater, and Rose proudly served as chairwoman of Wild Equity’s board of directors. Wild Equity combined two central themes from Rose’s life—her commitment to social justice and to the protection of nature.

Specifically, our work focuses on projects that highlight and redress the inequitable relationships across our human communities while improving our relationship to the lands in which we live.

Wild Equity is perhaps best known for two campaigns in the San Francisco Bay Area. One campaign has involved challenging the large concentration of gas burning power plants near the Antioch Dunes. The pollution from these facilities directly threatens endangered butterfly and wildflowers species in the dunes and the diverse moderate-to-low-income communities nearby, as well contributing to global warming.  Another campaign opposes the harm to the rare coastal wildlife habitat in Sharp Park from a money-losing golfing facility, and Wild Equity has championed the protection and restoration of the area as a national park while reinvesting the money saved by closing the golf course into San Francisco’s community services.

Rose at a Rally to Restore Sharp Park

The fact that Rose asked that her friends direct their memorial donations to the Wild Equity Institute reflects her deep love for Brent and the work he does as Wild Equity’s executive director, and it is also a tribute to Rose’s unflagging commitment to social and environmental justice. If you would like to make a donation in Rose’s honor please visit the Rose Braz Memorial Fund at the Wild Equity Institute.

Thank you,

The Board of Directors, Wild Equity Institute

Rose Braz Has Died, But She Is Not Going Away

Rose on Kauai, 2015.

Rose on Kauai, 2015.


Rose Braz, Chairperson and co-founder of Wild Equity, died on May 3, 2017 after a 40-month fight with brain cancer.  

We have lost the most beloved person we have ever known.  But Rose taught us to be better advocates, nurtured us to become better people. Those lessons live on in us all, so as she told Governor Brown not long ago Rose Braz is not going away:



To continue Rose’s vision Wild Equity has established the Rose Braz Memorial Fund.  Please contribute today so we can advance Rose’s vision for a more just and sustainable world.  Read more about Rose’s incredible life below, and thank you for loving Rose!



The incomparable, beloved Rose Braz

Renowned and beloved San Francisco environmental and human liberation activist Rosemarie Braz died after a three-year battle with brain cancer. She was 55.

Rose’s wide circle of friends and colleagues grieve the loss of a woman who gave so generously of herself and embodied a kindness of heart that her community is deeply sad to lose.

Rose grew up in Concord, California with her brother Joe and parents Ray and Rosalie Braz.  She liked to joke about her first job at Taco Bell. Initially excited to work at her favorite childhood restaurant, it took all of one day for cranky customers and managers to send Rose racing for the exit door, never to return.

Rose with her family, including brother Joe (top left), mother Rosalie (on Rose’s left), and father Ray (on Rosalie’s left).

She graduated from Carondelet High School in Concord in 1979 and then went on to become the first of her working-class Portuguese-American family to attend college, earning a degree from UC Berkeley in 1983. Rose worked her way through college while also volunteering to counsel draft resisters and smashing patriarchy with the Women’s Liberation Front.

Rose with the UC Berkeley Women's Liberation Front

Rose with the UC Berkeley Women’s Liberation Front

After graduating, Rose was hired as a staffer for Speaker of the California Assembly, Willie Brown. She continued her involvement in campus organizing and was a leader of the Campaign against Apartheid, where she developed a reputation as a fiercely dedicated and gifted organizer and a persistent thorn in the side of the UC Regents. She participated in the blockading of a South African cargo ship in San Francisco and in the 1986 Shantytown protest outside the UC Chancellor’s office that led to the university’s total divestment from companies doing business in South Africa.

Rose at Sproul Shanty Town Protests

Rose in the middle of the UC Berkeley Shantytown Protest

In 1987, Rose travelled through Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia and then taught English at the Danhiko Project, a Zimbabwean secondary school and vocational training center serving disabled ex-combatants and refugees from South Africa, Mozambique, and Namibia. There, she also oversaw the creation of the school library and the publication of the school’s first magazine. Her dedication, patience and love are still remembered there and even twenty years later, copies of her magazine, “Progress,” were still on the counter in the library.

Rose with Danhiko Project students and friend Ross Hammond

While traveling in South Africa, Rose refused to ride the apartheid buses and caused a stir at a bus station when she insisted on boarding a “black bus” instead of the “whites only” bus that the driver insisted she take.

Upon returning to California in 1989, Rose enrolled in the UC Berkeley School of Law. At law school, she was a leader of a campaign to diversify the school’s largely white, male faculty. She interned at the East Bay Community Law Center and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

After graduating from law school in 1992, Rose worked for several years as a criminal defense attorney, defending political protestors, among others, and advocating for the release of political prisoners.

Rose & allies visit prisoners at Pelican Bay

Rose co-founded Critical Resistance, the movement that would become the first national organization dedicated to the abolition of the prison industrial complex. Rose was the organization’s first staff – hired in 1999 – and a key leader for 13 years, during which time the organization became a powerful force in fights against prison expansion and criminalization. Thanks to Rose’s vision, which Ruthie Wilson Gilmore characterized as “a restless, impatient, inspired political imagination,” Critical Resistance forged enduring alliances between anti-prison and environmental and social justice organizations including public sector labor unions.

Rose Braz at Critical Resistance Protest

Rose Braz at Critical Resistance protest

 In 2003, Rose co-founded the Coalition for Effective Public Safety and Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) to combat the state’s ability to expand its prison system and to redirect resources from imprisonment toward life-affirming programs and services.

Rose and her dog, Charlotte, planning for a safer Oakland

Rose’s persistence, creativity and moral clarity helped the idea of abolishing the prison industrial complex take root across the country. Her unique ability to speak directly to people’s fears, while articulating the optimism of abolition helped move the idea of abolition from the realm of the inconceivable to the imaginable. The fact that so many people self-identify today as abolitionists is in no small part due to Rose’s efforts and vision.

Angela Davis said, “The international abolitionist movement owes a greater debt to Rose Braz than can ever be adequately acknowledged. Rose has always modeled the dedication, compassion, and humility that distinguish our very best social justice leaders. I consider myself one of the many who have been profoundly inspired by her example. Wherever there is struggle, resistance, and dreams of a better future, Rose’s spirit and legacy will be secure.”

In 2008, Rose married Brent Plater, an environmental attorney who founded the Wild Equity Institute, where she served as Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Rose and Brent took in and loved two rescue dogs, Charlotte and, later, Frosty, famous for their endearingly quirky personalities.  

From L-R: brother Joe, uncle Ed, Rose, husband Brent Plater, & father Ray.

Rose with her Dogs

Rose with Frosty (L) and Charlotte the Dog (R)

From 2009 until her death, Rose pursued her other great professional passion, environmental protection, as Climate Campaign Director for the Center for Biological Diversity. There, she founded the Center’s grassroots climate organizing program and launched several influential national climate and anti-fracking coalitions.

She ran the Clean Air Cities campaign, which spurred nearly 100 cities to pass resolutions in support of using the Clean Air Act to slash greenhouse pollution. In 2013, she co-founded Californians Against Fracking, a statewide coalition of more than 200 organizations working to ban fracking in California, and helped pass fracking bans in six California counties.

A tireless, fierce and deeply empathetic organizer, Rose coined the phrase “Climate Leaders Don’t Frack” and led the ongoing campaign to compel Gov. Jerry Brown to ban fracking in the Golden State. She worked constantly to build and strengthen ties between climate, environmental and social justice, labor and faith organizations.

Rose Braz in 2014.

“Rose Braz brought people and organizations together better than anyone I have ever known,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute.  “She believed that when we work together, we will win.  Those of us striving to ban fracking, keep fossil fuels in the ground, and solve the climate crisis will be forever guided and inspired by her example.”

Rose will be remembered by the San Francisco Bay Area activist community as a smart, gifted, compassionate and committed organizer who always put the cause ahead of personal ambition and ego and worked tirelessly behind the scenes and in the limelight. For her friends and family, she was a kind, funny, generous, supportive, loving, loyal and beautiful woman who loved hiking, birding, dancing, traveling, animals, chocolate, the Warriors, and the movie Dirty Dancing, which she’s rumored to have watched 20 times. 

Rose was the heart and soul of every liberation movement she joined, piercing the armor of the oppressors with her thorns and comforting those in pain with her soft petals. That was our Rose—freedom fighter, friend, sister, daughter, wife. She will be missed greatly and remembered and loved forever.

Rose is survived by her beloved husband, brother and father.

Donations in Rose’s honor can be made to the Rose Braz Memorial Fund at the Wild Equity Institute.

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Last Stand for the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly?

In February 2017, Wild Equity will appear before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the health of Antioch’s people and the continued existence of the Bay Area’s most imperiled butterfly will be on the line.  


Scientists believe we may have altered the nitrogen cycle even more than the carbon cycle, yet PG&E is attempting to operate four power plants ringing the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.
Perhaps a few hundred Lange's Metalmark Butterfly exist in the wild.  Photo (c) Liam O'Brien

Can we find it in our hearts to protect Antioch’s communities
and the last of the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly?


But the pollution from these power plants will disproportionately burden the largely minority, blue-collar communities in the area, while jeopardizing the continued existence of the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, the Contra Costa Wallflower, and the entire Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge.  

Wild Equity has led a campaign to bring community health organizations and lepidopterists together to fight this disproportionate burden.  In 2013 our work forced one of the power plants to make a choice: don’t build, or fund  a multi-million dollar trust benefitting local communities and endangered wildlife.

We can replicate this success, but we can’t do it alone.  When you join Wild Equity, you help ensure that Antioch’s people and wildlife are protected from pollution.

Imagine the world we will build together: a more equitable world for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth. Thank you for supporting this vision and contributing to our work today!

Brent PlaterThank you so much!

Brent Plater



Brent Plater
Executive Director


Shop Wild Equity’s Online Store!

Wild Equity’s new online store is now live! So day or night you can get your hands on Nancy Morita’s beautifully heartbreaking ‘Wild in the City’ poster; or our famous “I ‘Bird’ SF” T-shirts; or one of our gorgeous, reusable, non-toxic, 100% recycled aluminum, made-in-the-USA water bottles.  

If you’re looking for something else, consider shopping at AmazonSmile and designate Wild Equity Institute as your charity of choice.  When you do,  Amazon.com will give a portion of the website’s profits to Wild Equity: at no extra charge to you!  Look for items with “Eligible for Amazon Smile donation” in the product description, and again, be sure to designate Wild Equity as your favorite charitable organization.  

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Stand with Wild Equity in 2017!

Wild Equity InstituteDear Friend,

With the tectonic shift in national politics, our focus on local environmental and social issues may be our only hope. The victory at Standing Rock, in the backdrop of the incoming climate change-denying administration, shows how a local, grassroots movement can trounce billion-dollar corporate interests.

At this moment, I appreciate living in San Francisco more than ever. The Bay Area may be one of the few regions left where we have a chance to defend wildlife.

Poor froggie

But recently we lost a battle. Wild Equity spoke before the San Francisco Planning Commission to oppose the Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment project that was surreptitiously inserted into the citywide Natural Areas Management Plan. The Sierra Club, state and local Audubon chapters, Surfrider, NPCA, & many other environmental groups stood with us. Although the Commission, ever the rubber-stamp, voted to approve the plan, the dissenting Commissioner cited the Sharp Park golf course redevelopment as the reason she voted no.

But the war is not lost: we now move on to the Board of Supervisors, where we have been more successful than any other contemporary conservation group. We have allies on the Board today, and while it won’t be easy, we have a template to win.

As always, we’ll employ our full suite of skills — public relations, lobbying, education, grassroots organizing, and litigation – to protect endangered species in San Francisco, Pacifica, Antioch, and beyond.

But we can’t do it without you: please make a tax-deductible contribution to the Wild Equity Institute today.

With your support we can demonstrate how local efforts can change the tide, from here to Standing Rock. Thank you for your support of a more equitable world for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth!

With deepest gratitude,

Brent PlaterBrent Plater

Brent Plater, Director
Wild Equity Institute

 

 

PS —Check out the new Wild Equity online store and pick-up our new sky blue “I ‘Bird’ SF” shirts and Wild in the City posters!

 

 

 

I 'Bird' SF T-shirt, unisex, natural cotton color I "Bird" SF Shirt, Ladies Half-scoop, Sky Blue Color

Wild Equity Celeb SightingIf you know who this is, you NEED this bottle! (Contact us if you need a hint)

Wild in the City Poster by Nancy Morita Does any other poster demonstrate how inequitable we’ve been to these lands? Nope. That’s why you need one. 24 x 35 in.


It’s Air Quality Awareness Week: Who Bears the Brunt of Air Pollution?

This week (May 2-6) is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality Awareness Week. Unfortunately, the EPA is still giving the green light to projects (e.g. new power plants) which poison the air and compromise the health and wellbeing of local communities and wildlife.

In fact, Wild Equity has spent years challenging the EPA’s ongoing failure to protect communities and endangered species in Antioch, CA, from PG&E’s Gateway Generating Station- a power plant that emits tons of nitrogen pollution annually, poisoning sensitive wildlife habitats and irritating the lungs of local residents. The EPA has allowed Gateway Generating Station to pollute without performing a legally mandated consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service about the pollution’s impact on endangered species at the adjacent Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge- the last home for one of our nation’s most imperiled butterflies.

Achieving environmental justice has always been the backbone of Wild Equity’s mission. It is far too often the underprivileged, the poor, working-class communities of color that are disproportionately burdened with the impacts of pollution and of climate change. This paradigm is evident in many scenarios that have drastically altered the way of life in some communities, a few of many examples being:

Flint, Michigan, a predominantly African American town, the highly toxic tap water is unsuitable for drinking, cooking, or bathing. The residents of Flint have no choice but to cook, drink, bathe with bottled water because of their contaminated water supply.

Wilmington, a Los Angeles ethnic minority neighborhood dense with oil drilling operations, residents have spent years suffering from frequent headaches, nausea, nosebleeds, and other health-related issues due to exposure to drilling-related pollution. Wilmington has received little media attention, as opposed to the natural gas leak at Porter Ranch, an affluent neighborhood with a majority white population.

Kettleman City, CA, a community that is over 96% of Hispanic or Latino origin, is located amongst oil wells and a massive hazardous waste dump site. The town has been plagued with contaminated water, polluted air, abnormally high rates of birth defects, infant mortality, and cancer.

Regrettably, environmental injustices are still ever-present and we still have a long fight ahead, but we will continue to fight for the people, plants, and wildlife whose voices go unheard, and hope you will join us. Thank you for supporting Wild Equity, and click here to get involved with our work!

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Values, Market Value, and Non-Profit Management

Brent Plater, Executive Director, Wild Equity

Brent Plater, Executive Director, Wild Equity


Thursday, March 24, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Brent Plater, executive director of the Wild Equity Institute, will give a presentation to the BAIA (Business Association Italy America) Bay Area Italian Executive Business Network. Mr. Plater will pull from his experience managing and working for local, small non-profits to describe how non-profit executives can address the challenge of acquiring resources to invest in their mission and transform market value into an expansion of non-profits values.

RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/BAIA-Executives/events/227008819/

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Shop at Amazon & Support Wild Equity

Maryrose Wampler’s Portrait of the
Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, circa 1979.

Wild Equity always recommends shopping locally and supporting businesses in your community. But sometimes that isn’t possible: for example, where else will you find an original portrait of the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose?

When you do shop at amazon.com, now you can simultaneously donate to Wild Equity: at no extra charge! All you need to do is shop through AmazonSmile using your existing amazon.com account, and a portion of your sale will automatically be donated to Wild Equity. It’s as simple as that!

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Help Move the World: Contribute to Wild Equity Today!

I’m starting this note with two short stories that inspired our work this year. After reading them, I believe you’ll be inspired to become a Wild Equity Institute member, so we can continue our extraordinary work.

Recently I returned from a weekend workshop where I discussed the future of the conservation movement with giants in our field—people like Dr. Michael Soulé, the founder of the field of conservation biology; Dr. Holmes Ralston III, a luminary in the field of environmental ethics; and Terry Tempest Williams, one of our great contemporary environmental writers.

It was an honor to simply be in a room with these incredible people. But as the meeting progressed, I was humbled to see that they found inspiration in the Wild Equity Institute’s work, and are incorporating our theory of change into a new era of environmental protection and conservation.

Around the same time I received this note from a student who participated in Wild Equity’s Endangered Species Big Semester, our environmental education project that helps disadvantaged students see and save our local endangered species:

“I got a lot from your program, like great memories and the chance to meet amazing people. I’m so thankful Wild Equity made it possible to help me learn, not only was it educational, but also it was fun and exciting. I absolutely loved all the field trips and would enjoy doing it again.”

We are proud that in just three short years we’ve improved lives and inspired leaders to build a stronger environmental movement for all.

But we can’t do it alone: and that’s why we’re asking you to become a Wild Equity Institute member today.

The Wild Equity Institute believes we can achieve extraordinary environmental victories while building a larger, more resilient environmental movement. We do this by uniting grassroots conservation and environmental justice groups in campaigns that build a more equitable world for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.

At a minimum, this means our work must focus on preventing other species from going extinct, and ensuring that no community is burdened with a disproportionate share of environmentally harmful activities.

In 2012, we implemented this theory of change in several ways:

But we aren’t done yet. In 2013, we will work to save San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program so it can continue stewarding our local plants and wildlife; transform Sharp Park Golf Course into a new national park everyone can enjoy; and save the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly and empower local communities to end pollution from power plants that destroy the species’ habitat.

In each of these efforts, we build capacity for our movement by engaging new allies and building the power we need to tackle our most pressing environmental problems.

That’s why when you contribute to our work you get a twofer: we achieve measurable environmental gains on the ground, but more importantly, we ensure that our movement grows so that the scale of our efforts can match the size of the threats we face.

But movements are not defined by the effectiveness of organizations. They are defined by the inspiration, the passion, the commitment of the people these organizations serve. This is why we need you to demonstrate your commitment by becoming a Wild Equity member today.

Imagine the world we will build together: a more equitable world for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth. Thank you for supporting this vision and for joining us today!

Sincerely,

Brent Plater
Executive Director

P.S.— Consider becoming a monthly donor. For as little as $5 a month, you’ll help us spend less time raising funds and more time wining campaigns for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth! You can do this online at the Wild Equity Institute’s website. Thank you!

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Best. Hate. Voicemail. Ever!


Artwork by Liam O’Brien

The Wild Equity Institute’s lawsuit to protect the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly was a hot topic with Bay Area media outlets this week, covered by The Bay Citizen, CBS 5, and the Contra Costa Times. But our favorite story was left on our voicemail: by someone with a decidedly different point of view.

This message has the hallmarks of an all-time classic. It’s anonymous, inaccurate, breathlessly angry, and masterfully on message: in under thirty seconds it gets all the talk radio insults in. This guy should be giving clinics.

Listen to the message for the full effect, but here’s the text:

Hey dummies! Hey environmental wackos! Why don’t you pay attention to the volcanoes, and the geysers that are erupting out of the ground and polluting our air, not the people, nor the insects that ruin the crops in the state of California. LEAVE THOSE DAMN BUTTERFLIES ALONE AND LET THEM DIE!! If you don’t know about butterflies they destroy crops! READ YOUR INFORMATION YOU COMMUNISTS BASTARDS!!

Never mind that the Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly’s only host plant is the naked-stem buckwheat, Eriogonum nudum var. auriculatum, which as far as we know has never been a crop plant in all of human history!

Deranged voicemails, death threats, and hateful scribes comes with the territory: at least once a month someone who’s ox has been gored tries to intimidate us. But the Wild Equity Institute thrives on this bulletin-board material: it strengthens our resolve to fight for people and the plants and animals that accompany us on Earth.

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What do Elizabeth Taylor, Barry Bonds, and the Wild Equity Institute Have in Common?

The classic beauty, the troubled slugger, and the Wild Equity Institute’s campaign to restore Sharp Park were all on the front page of the San Francisco chronicle on Thursday, March 24, 2011.
Click here to see a .pdf of the article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle.

Now send a letter to the editor
thanking the paper for running this important story. Remind all San Franciscans that all the available evidence indicates that Sharp Park was once a backbarrier fresh to brackish lagoon, not a saline tidal lagoon as the proponents of the status quo allege in this article. That means we can restore the natural system while preserving endangered species at Sharp Park. In the process we’ll build a better public park with recreation opportunities everyone can enjoy.

 

Events

Remembering Rose Braz

Remembering Rose Braz

REMEMBERING ROSE BRAZ

SUNDAY, JULY 30, 2017

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Brava! for Women In the Arts

2781 24th Street, San Francisco, CA

Please RSVP using Evite: http://evite.me/TZXGP2YddY


Dear Friends,

As you know, Rose Braz passed away  on May 3rd, more than three years after she had been diagnosed with brain cancer.  We hope you will join us to celebrate Rose’s remarkable life on July 30.  There will be 2:30 pm program with reception to follow. Doors open at 2:00 pm.