Saturday, September 20, 2008

Glamour Magazine Awards (Gabby Salazar)

A little over a week ago I flew down to New York City to accept an award as one of Glamour Magazine's Top 10 College Women of the Year. Part of the honor had to do with my work on Nature's Best Photography Students and it was wonderful to share the magazine with so many amazing people. I got to meet the nine other winners and we were whisked around NYC for three days to meals, events and shows.
The first day we visited the United Nations Population Fund and learned about maternal health throughout the world. We learned that the lifetime risk of maternal death (death while giving birth) is 1 in 7300 for developed countries, including the United States and 1 in 26 for Africa. To me this disparity is completely unacceptable and it really opened my eyes to a new issue that affects women, men, families and communities across the world. To me it really hit home how much maternal health is also an environmental issue. We often think of saving charismatic mammals like polar bears, giant pandas, etc as top environmental concerns. I do not disagree at all and am in complete support of money and resources helping to save individual animals. But, humans are part of the ecosystem too and when women die during childbirth they often leave children and torn families behind - as the speaker at the United Nations Population Fund said, "women are the fabric of society." Just an interesting thought to reflect on when you think about what qualifies as an environmental issue.
On a lighter note, we also met with top female professionals from Nickelodeon, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, the NY State Government, and Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center. The speakers were amazing and the other nine girls were very impressive. Here are some of the websites for their organizations:

Gardens for Health:
Lighthouse for Dreams:

Check out a picture of the 10 winners with Amy Dickonson who writes the "Ask Amy" column for the Chicago Tribune.