Intersectional climate activist Jacqui Patterson received the Earth Award, honoring leaders working to advance climate justice, on Tuesday evening during the 2024 TIME Women of the Year gala in West Hollywood.

Patterson is the founder and executive director of the Chisholm Legacy Project, which helps connect Black communities that are being disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis with the resources they need to create systematic change across connected challenges.

“Whereas bigger nonprofits largely take on single issues, her organization, the Chisholm Legacy Project, addresses environmental issues, poverty, racial discrimination, and gender inequality together—all of which have combined to pose enormous challenges for at-risk communities,” said actress and climate activist Shailene Woodley, who presented Patterson with the honor.

Patterson began her acceptance speech by contemplating all the people who were not present in the room, reflecting on her journey to success and acknowledgement.

“I share this award with less visible sisters who are true heroines who inspire me every day with their transformational work on the frontlines of environmental and climate justice as tenders, stewards, and defenders of the earth,” said Patterson. The intersectional climate activist mentioned by name fellow activists from across the globe—including Councilwoman and Hereditary Drumkeeper of the Women’s Scalp Dance Society of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma Casey Camp Hornek, the Ogoni women of Nigeria, Inuit environmentalist Mae Hank, and others.

“They are my inspiration, my source of hope. And they are proof positive of the words we should all live by,” Patterson said.

Patterson is one of 12 2024 TIME Women of the Year, a recognition of women who are working to build bridges towards a more equal world.

TIME Women of the Year was sponsored by P&G, Rolex, Ray Ban-Meta, Donna Karan New York, FIJI Water, Campari, and Mattel.

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