Past Event

Wangari Maathai and the Real Work of Hope

Cafe Society will be meeting at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Resident’s Dining Hall on Tuesday, October 4

Lynette Jackson, associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and African American Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago, will be our guest speaker.

From “Wangari Maathai and the Real Work of Hope” by Francis Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe

“We join millions grieving for Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai. She altered the course of our lives, and our one solace is in knowing that she has changed — and will continue to change — the lives of millions of others. She taught us about the work of hope…In Kenya we met many women wearing the Green Belt Movement’s simple t-shirt adorned with the slogan: ‘As for me, I’ve made a choice.’ So simple, yet so powerful, are those words: To create the world we want, Wangari always embodied, we must choose to act, even if there is no evidence assuring success — even if we face ridicule, oppression, and loss. Hope, she taught us, is not for wimps. It is not what we find in evidence, it is what we become in action.”

Questions for Consideration 

How can we honor Professor Maathai’s life and continue her fight for a healthier and more sustainable Africa and world? How is the green movement connected to other struggles for justice? How can planting a tree change the world? Prof Maathai was widely regarded as a feminist and an environmental activist: how can women look to her for inspiration?

Want to find out more? 

Free and open to the public. For more information, call 312.422.5580.

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit