Silent Spring Institute’s strength comes not just from its unique partnership between activists and scientists, but also from the generosity and talents of its many supporters, including the Friends of Silent Spring Institute. When the Jane’s Trust foundation offered a $200,000 challenge grant to encourage the expansion of private support for the Institute, the Friends responded by raising more than $400,000 from new and increased contributions. The challenge grant gave Silent Spring the confidence to add a new scientist to the research team and to expand its strategic planning.
The Friends also raised $475,000 for the Susan S. Bailis Breast Cancer Research Fund during the Institute’s annual dinner, held in Boston in May 2007. Rachel Carson Advocacy Awards were presented to Ellen Calmas, founding chair of the Friends, and Carla Perez, a community organizer with Communities for a Better Environment.
“Ellen Calmas has been a catalyst, inspiring and involving many new supporters for Silent Spring Institute’s environmental research,” says Ellen Parker, chair of the Institute’s Board of Directors. “While she was one of our early advocates, when she faced her own diagnosis, Ellen responded by increasing her commitment to prevent breast cancer in other women.”
Parker adds that Carla Perez “lives by her belief that each of us can change the world. She brings intelligence, heart, enormous energy, and clarity of purpose to her struggle for environmental justice.”