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2019 Visionary Leaders Awards

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Awardees’ Biographies

Dr. Helen Caldicott

This year, PSR is proud to present Dr. Helen Caldicott, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Caldicott, a prominent pediatrician, has devoted more than half of her life to an international campaign to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the necessary changes in human behavior to stop environmental destruction. During her time living in the United States, she played a major role in reviving PSR as president (1978-1983), and is the founder of several organizations, both here and abroad, including WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions, formerly Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament).

Dr. Caldicott currently divides her time between her home in Australia and the U.S. and was named one of the most important women of the 20th century by Ladies’ Home Journal.

In addition, PSR is honored to have Dr. Caldicott serve as the keynote speaker for a symposium taking place prior to the reception. The symposium will also include a panel of women leaders slated to discuss the existential threats of a nuclear war and climate change to human health and survival. The symposium is free, but reservations are required.

Read our interview with Dr. Caldicott here.

PSR will also recognize other outstanding individuals and organizations at the awards reception, including:

Marylia KelleyMarylia Kelley, Cofounder & Executive Director, TriValley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)

Marylia Kelley is the Executive Director of Tri-Valley CAREs. She brings 30 years of in-depth research, analysis and facilitating public participation in decisions regarding the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, nuclear weapons policy, waste and cleanup. Kelley has provided expert testimony on the nuclear weapons complex before the California State Legislature and the U.S. Congress and has been an expert witness in environmental litigation involving Livermore Lab and other nuclear weapons sites. She serves on the “Community Work Group” (since 1989) to advise the federal Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies and the community on the Superfund cleanup of the Livermore Laboratory. Kelley has provided input to the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council, including on the proliferation risks of the National Ignition Facility and on toxic and radioactive pollution at the Livermore Laboratory. She has written for numerous publications, including the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the San Francisco Chronicle. Kelley also serves as editor and principal writer for Citizen’s Watch, Tri-Valley CAREs’ bimonthly newsletter. Kelley’s work with Tri-Valley CAREs has garnered numerous awards over the years, and, in 2002 she was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame. She has a background in journalism and humanities, and graduated summa cum laude from John F. Kennedy University in 1984. Kelley has lived in Livermore, California since 1976.

Read our interview with Kelley here.

Kelly Campbell Regna Merritt

Kelly Campbell and Regna Merritt, Chapter Leaders, Oregon PSR

Kelly Campbell, Executive Director of Oregon PSR, brings more than twenty years of experience in peace, justice and environmental health organizing to her role as the Executive Director of Oregon PSR. Before joining Oregon PSR in 2009, She served as the Portland Area Peace Program Director for the American Friends Service Committee and was a founding Co-director of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, an organization that has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Kelly served on the steering committee of the national coalition United for Peace and Justice and worked in the as Communications Director for Pesticide Action Network North America, and as Campaign Coordinator for the statewide coalition, Californians for Pesticide Reform. Read our interview with Campbell here.

Regna Merritt, former Healthy Climate Program Director for Oregon PSR, worked with health professionals and effective coalitions to prevent negative health impacts of proposed fossil fuel exports, including but not limited to toxic coal and dangerous crude oil. Regna has worked for 25 years to protect municipal drinking water. She was instrumental in efforts to secure federal legislation which protects the Bull Run, source of the largest municipal water supply in Oregon. She also helped secure protections for Opal Creek Wilderness, Mount Hood Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers. She has served on Oregon DEQ’s Drinking Water Advisory Committee and Portland’s Water Quality Advisory Committee. Regna graduated from US Public Health Service’s Physician Assistant Training Program and received her BS from SUNY. Read our interview with Merritt here.

Sunrise Movement logoSunrise Movement, youth-led nonprofit organization that advocates political action on climate change

Sara Blazevic and Varshini Prakash started the Sunrise Movement on the East Coast in 2015 and launched as a 501(c)(4) in 2017. During the 2018 midterms, they worked to oust candidates who would not refuse funding from the fossil fuel industry and to elect proponents of renewable energy. Half of the group’s first 20 endorsements won their elections. Deb Haaland, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar won election to the House of Representatives and six other endorsed candidates won election to state house or senate seats in Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.

After the 2018 elections, the Sunrise Movement has focused on the climate change proposals collectively known as the Green New Deal, whose core principles have been described as “decarbonization, jobs, and justice.”

Read our interview with Sunrise Movement’s Dyanna Jaye here.

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