She has participated in seagoing campaigns against whaling ships, worked as an environmental reporter on MTV Canada and written a book about young people who work and fight to save the environment. And at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Emily Hunter — also known as the Ecohuntress — will be a featured speaker at Pasco-Hernando Community College's Peace Week celebration. Her topic will be "Igniting the Next Eco-Warrior Spirit."
"It's not just about protesting anymore," said Hunter, who lives in Toronto. "The Internet and social media allow us to interact and plan global days of activism. And I encourage young activists to bring their talents, their creativity and spark, whether it's in the form of writing, art, science, whatever their talent."
PHCC will host Peace Week events at all four campuses next week, with lectures, drum circles, musical performances and other events designed to encourage tolerance and understanding.
Peace isn't just the absence of war, event organizers say. It's "a constantly changing and fragile ideology that can be threatened if people are not given the opportunity to express themselves and connect with one another."
And sometimes you have to fight for peace.
Hunter, the 28-year-old daughter of Greenpeace founders Bobbi and Robert Hunter, said her mother was the first woman to stand between a whale and a harpoon. Following in her footsteps at age 19, Hunter joined the organization Sea Shepherd, an environmental group known for its aggressive but nonlethal tactics such as ramming whaling ships, in waging an anti-whaling campaign in the Galapagos Islands.
"Sea Shepherd is a radical conservation organization that believes in civil disobedience," she said. "But the group has never hurt or killed anyone, and it stands against whaling, an illegal activity."
It was partly through her work with Sea Shepherd, an organization that boasts a large youth membership, that Hunter saw the important role for young people in the environmental movement.
"They realize that the problems plaguing our environment will not just affect their children and grandchildren," she said. "It's affecting them, in their lifetime."
Hunter has found her own ways to reach out to young people, including a stint as an environmental reporter on MTV Canada, where she reported about the Tar Sands project and its effect on climate change, and the publication of her book The Next Eco-Warriors, which profiles young people making a difference in the fight to save the environment. And as Canadian coordinator of the group 350.Org, she coordinated Global Days of Action (environmentally based work days) across the country.
She has also recently worked with the organization DeforestACTION to protest the destruction of the Borneo Rain Forest.
"Through channeling our own unique abilities and ideas," she said, "young people can make a point."
Learn more about Emily Hunter at http://ecohuntress.wordpress.com/.