Located just across the bay from us in Berkeley, the Earth Island Institute is a non-profit environmental group that was founded in 1982 by David Brower. EII supports activism around environmental issues through fiscal sponsorship and provides the administrative and organizational infrastructure for individual projects. As stated on the EII website:
“Earth Island Institute was fashioned to encourage people to be bold, a temple for all the people doing good.”
We couldn’t have described it better ourselves, and it is with no small pride that Smith & Fong has been a supporter of EII and its Brower Youth Awards for the past few years. EII’s executive director, John Knox, is a friend of ours, and the organization was founded on the tenets of sustainability and social equity that Smith & Fong holds in high regard.
When the David Brower Center, a LEED Platinum building that houses a number of environmental organizations— including Earth Island Institute, Friends of the Earth (also founded by David Brower), Citizen Engagement Lab, Equity Community Builders and many other truly worthy organizations — opened in 2009, Smith+Fong
was deeply pleased to be part of the architectural interiors. Plyboo is prominently featured in the 180-seat Goldman Theater, home to great public speaking events, performances and film series. Plyboo is also found throughout the lobby area as well as the kitchen cabinetry at the Earth Island Institute offices.
The Brower Center also highlighted the work of many talented artists, including Sebastião Salgado, Daniel McCormick, David Liittschwager, Laura Cunningham, Isabella Kirkland, Chris Jordan, David Maisel, Jeffrey Long, Bill Curtsinger, Joseph Holmes, and more recently, Richard Misrach and Douglas Gayeton. The work of all of these artists shares a common thread–a commitment to shedding light on natural places, environmental or social issues.
Additionally, since 2000, Earth Island has presented the Brower Youth Awards to six young environmental leaders each year, all of whom are making strides in the environmental movement. Brower Youth Award winners demonstrate excellence in leadership as well as a commitment to the communities their work serves.
Smith & Fong remains a proud supporter of the efforts of these young environmental advocates.