I am very honored to be a partner, contributor, and panelist for the 9th edition of the Green Me Film Festival. This year it will take place at the CinemaxX (Potsdamer Platz) in Berlin from Friday 29th of January until Sunday the 31st. This year’s focus is set on the thematic trio Ocean- Life-Water.
Over 30 featured films and documentaries addressing the following topics: Ocean, Life and water will be screened. This year’s festival features several special highlights such as Academy Award-Winner “Racing Extinction”, Emmy Award Winner documentary “Mission Blue”, which exposes legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle’s work.
Ron Finley’s “Can You Dig This” which is a personal favorite documentary as it focuses on my dear friend and colleague, Ron Finley or otherwise known as the Gangsta Garner and explores the urban gardening revolution taking place in South Central Los Angeles.
In addition to fantastic films that will be screened, there will be discussion panels which include the film directors, experts and environmentalists to discuss topic relevant issues and sustainability.
Our younger audience will be delighted to see productions such as “Ponyo”, a Japanese animation movie or Oscar Nominee movie “Song of the Sea”, perfectly suited for a family day. Children up to 14 years old are admitted free of charge.
The Green Me film festival is a non-profit event and was put together with the help of its partners and the team of volunteers. The festival does not receive any state subsidies.
This year, Auma Obama, sociologist, germanist and expert on environmental questions gave a moving speech as the documentary The Salt of the Earth received the Green Me Award for best documentary. Auma Obama and the German minister for environment Barbara Hendricks presented the award to the awe-inspiring film director, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.
On a personal note, I am particularly fond of this sustainability festival and received the Green Me Award for my international work in sustainability, specifically my work in Germany in the renewable energy field. I have implemented many wind and solar farms throughout the Country since the early 90’s and helped to create the first feed-in-tariff program. I was very honored to have received the award from both the German Consulate General Los Angeles and the Green Me Film Festival for my ecological and sustainable achievements.
The beginnings of a wind farm in Los Angeles? Is it possible? As someone who has worked in the wind industry since the 90’s, I have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful with regards to proponents and opponents of wind energy. And sometimes, very rarely, an opportunity appears where the best of what wind power has to offer can be realized in ways that can educate, inspire and directly benefit a community in need.
I am currently involved in just such an opportunity as part of a school bond program. As a first step, I am conducting a wind feasibility study for a school in Los Angeles County within the Glendale Unified School District. This very progressive school is home to special needs students, ages 6 to 22. It is also a public school and, as such, represents a possible proof of concept for a larger program that could benefit the entire Los Angeles County public school system. The renewable energy technologies potentially implemented on this new construction project could include solar thermal for the therapy pool, photovoltaic for the parking structure and roof and wind turbines atop of a 1000 foot ridge just tucked in behind the school.
Creating a net zero energy public school would be a remarkable accomplishment. Currently, our goal is provide enough energy to mitigate 80% of the energy demand of the school. Even at this rate, the financial benefit would be immediate and applicable system-wide. Although the utility company does not have net metering, meaning you cannot sell excess energy that the school would produce back to the grid, it does open the door to this possibility.
There is hope that, through the success of pilot projects like this, more utility companies will provide incentives and rebates for community and school wind initiatives. Also, and perhaps just as significant, this project has the potential to serve as a real world example for students to learn about and experience first hand the science of wind power resulting in increased awareness and advocacy among students of all ages as well as inspiring and even developing the industry’s future leaders.
I know this is a once in a lifetime project on so many levels and I am grateful to be a part of it. The true hero in this project who I must acknowledge is the Principal of the Special Education Department at New College View School/Facts Program in Glendale; Macre ‘Jay’ Schwartz. She reminded me that to teach in a progressive school you must teach within a progressive environment.
Please follow me as I chronicle this inspiring story and let you into the world of possibilities, such as building the first wind farm in Los Angeles for a school.
On July 15th I ran Concrete Hero, an urban obstacle course 5km race in downtown Los Angeles. Why? I ran to support Aids Project Los Angeles (APLA), an organization who supports individuals living in LA, who have or are living with AIDS or HIV with basic needs such as food and shelter. Over 60,000 people in Los Angeles have AIDS or HIV and that number is growing every day.
Participants raised over $400,000 on the 15th, which will go directly to APLA. An amazing feat! Yet, after my race, I was not happy with my run nor my time. I did climb the monkey bars, and completed all the obstacles (those who lack upper body strength can understand) but I was still not satisfied.
As I was walking to my car a man asked if I finished the run and I said yes, but not like I wanted to finish. He said you finished it though, right? And I shook my head and said yes. He said you don’t understand, you ran for those who can’t and you will continue to run because you can and maybe one day someone will need to run for you.
He acknowledged my accomplishment and I thanked him, with a smile that ran ear to ear on my face.
Someone recently told me that you can’t go any faster by being hard on yourself. I am still learning this lesson.
I am a scientist, environmentalist, political advisor and model. I am also a runner and have been for many years. I have made a conscious decision to run for a particular calling. I am running to give women a voice in cases where they don’t have one.
A few months back I decided to start a fundraising drive to support the Linor Documentary. I raised funds for this film so it could be completed and reach the women who need it most, including girls on college campuses who have been raped.
This films’ empowering message enables women to finish their degree with dignity, knowing that they have nothing to be ashamed of and that they’re not alone. They don’t need to blame themselves or be blamed. I want to help, any way I can, to ensure that when girls go to school they never have to be afraid, embarrassed nor ashamed. EVER.
I ran three half-marathons in the last six months, Huntington Beach, Los Angeles and Orange County. I’m running for Linor, so that her voice can be heard loud and clear by women and girls all over the world. I’m running to help victims of rape, and will continue to run until all of our demons become a thing of that past. I will be their voice!
Please join me on my runs for the one in four women who are raped, and for those who are no longer here and can’t run with me.
Watch the trailer for The Linor Documentary below. If you can make a donation towards my run in support of this documentary, please donate online: http://www.linordocumentary.com/ to contribute!
Please check this site often to hear further updates!
With much gratitude,