On October 11 2016 the Alaska Wilderness League (AWL) presented Wilburforce Foundation’s founder and president Rose Letwin with its 2016 Voice of the Wild Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant and long-lasting impact on protecting the amazing places and wildlife of Alaska.
In introducing Rose at the event, AWL board member Tom Campion said. “I have tremendous respect and real gratitude for Rose’s decision to focus her philanthropy on saving some of the last great wild landscapes in western North America. What she has done is truly exceptional. Rose’s vision and the work of Wilburforce Foundation, which she started, blazed the trail for the current generation of public lands funders.”
After accepting the award Rose spoke about the importance of AWL long-term vision, saying “The Alaska Wilderness League is one of a handful of Wilburforce’s earliest grantees. We made our first grant to them in August 1997, and we have continued to support the League every year since then. We recognized with our first grant, as we do now, that League fills a special niche because they have a substantial DC office with access to Capitol Hill, as well as staff on the ground in Alaska and various parts of the lower 48. Particularly impressive is the League’s creative communications which continue to inspire love for Alaska from all over the country, even from people who will never visit its wild places.”
Rose Letwin, founder of Wilburforce Foundation, was honored on September 29th, 2016, with Defenders of Wildlife’s Spirit of Defenders Citizen Advocacy Award.
Defenders recognized Rose at their annual Conservation Awards Dinner in Washington, D. C. as an individual who has made a lasting and exceptional commitment to wildlife conservation.
Jamie Clark, President of Defenders, described Rose this way: “Rose Letwin has put her investments where her heart is. Her life-long commitment to sustaining wild places for wildlife and people has enriched our nation and is a gift to generations to come. Rose truly believes in collaboration, bringing scientists, decision makers and other stakeholders to the table to identify solutions that result in true conservation milestones. She is a hero to us all, and we are honored to give her the Spirit of Defenders Award for Citizen Advocacy.”
Rose is especially humbled that an organization she has admired and supported for 17 years decided to honor her. She said, “I like to think of myself as a quiet catalyst, doing my small part while those like Jamie Clark really do the hard work with such spirit and love.”
“Animals, by definition, don’t have voices that most people can understand. And yet they have so much to tell us about the health and resiliencies of our mothership Earth. They deserve on their own merits to live safely and freely in their own homes. This is why advocacy is so important to me. Animals need our voices!”
Speaking about her motivation to support and partner with Defenders of Wildlife, Rose said, “Animals, by definition, don’t have voices that most people can understand. And yet they have so much to tell us about the health and resiliencies of our mothership Earth. They deserve on their own merits to live safely and freely in their own homes. This is why advocacy is so important to me. Animals need our voices!”
Rose founded Wilburforce Foundation in 1991 with the vision of a thriving, interconnected North American West that could foster healthy wildlife. As its sole funder, she has demonstrated her long-term commitment to sustaining the wild places that animals need to thrive.