2011 Mountainfilm in Telluride: Hilton Kelley

2011 Mountainfilm in Telluride: Hilton Kelley

[click “Play” to hear Susan’s conversation with Hilton Kelley]


Hilton Kelley Hilton Kelley speaks at Awareness in Action Symposium

Hilton Kelley, The Sierra Club’s 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for North America, is in town for Mountainfilm in Telluride, May 27 – May 30. He is scheduled to speak Friday, May 27, at the Moving Mountains Symposium in one of three afternoon breakout sessions,1:30 – 3:30 p.m., The Nugget Theatre.

Traditionally Mountainfilm’s Moving Mountains Symposium has focused on a single issue or place: reintroduction of wolves into the West, Mongolia, energy, water, food, extinction, etc. But this year, with hot spots all over the world and our own country in hot water, festival director David Holbrooke concluded that talking about issues was simply not enough. He decided his event would model “Awareness Into Action.”

Putting your money (and time) where your mouth is has been a subtext for Mountainfilm since its broadened its purview from mountain living and mountain adventure to “Celebrating the Indomitable Spirit.” Awareness Into Action simply makes it all official.

The Goldman Environmental Prize is considered the “Nobel Prize for environmental activism.” Hilton Kelley was selected for his his landmark environmental justice work to improve air quality in one of the most polluted areas in the nation: Port Arthur, Texas. 

Hilton Kelley returned to Port Arthur 10 years ago after 21 years as successful Hollywood stuntman to fight for his community ravaged by pollution and crime and threatened by economic collapse. To combat the air pollution so central to the social and economic challenges, he established the Community In-Powerment Development Association. CIDA was all about educating and empowering community residents and reducing emissions from the eight major petrochemical and hazardous waste facilities that ring the area. Hilton negotiated a now-famous “good neighbor” agreement to insure health coverage for the residents of the West Side for three years. He also established a $3.5 million fund to help entrepreneurs launch new businesses in the community.

To learn more about why Hilton Kelley did what he did and how he accomplished his Herculean objectives, click the “play” button and listen to his interview.

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