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Monday
May212012

Beyond Nuclear board of directors member Dr. Judith Johnsrud honored by Sierra Club for lifetime of anti-nuclear leadership

Dr. Judith Johnsrud enjoying the decorative quilt presented to her in honor of her 50 years of anti-nuclear leadershipOn Friday, May 4th, at its national "No Nukes" grassroots gathering of activists from across North America, the Sierra Club honored Dr. Judith Johnsrud, a founding board of directors member of Beyond Nuclear, for her half-century of anti-nuclear activism and environmental leadership at the grassroots, national, and even international levels. Judy was honored by her life partner, Leon Glicenstein, event co-organizer Diane D'Arrigo of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, as well as the President of the Board of Directors of Sierra Club, Robin Mann. A film of Judy speaking on the hazards of radioactivity was shown, and a beautiful decorative quilt bearing the message "JUDITH: PROTECTING LIFE FOREVER" was presented to Judy (see photo, left). Members of the audience, numbering 85 activists from across the U.S. and Canada, were invited to share stories about Judy. Some of these friends and colleagues had worked with Judy for decades, but even some individuals who had not met Judy before were moved to thank her for her lifetime of work to protect the planet and all its inhabitants. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Judy said simply "I am grateful to you all," as well as saying -- with characteristic humbleness -- that she didn't deserve it (with which everyone in attendance wholeheartedly disagreed!)

At a Sierra Club sponsored workshop at the Pennsylvania Renewable Energy Festival in 2007, Judy presented a list of numerous major anti-nuclear victories which she and grassroots environmental allies have succeeded in winning over the decades (characteristically, she also included the losses suffered, including the construction and operation of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, which led to its meltdown in 1979). Judy has also prepared a history of the Environmental Coalition on Nuclear Power, which she has led for decades, providing more details on those hard won victories and bitter defeats.

In concluding her remarkable history of ECNP, Judy wrote: "These are only some of ECNP's current activities. Although nuclear power is patently failing, and in a rational world would never have been developed, constant vigilance by citizen activists like all of you will continue to be essential far into the future.  But by far the greatest benefit from the existence of this Coalition has been the opportunity to develop deep, lasting friendships, and the privilege of meeting and working with its members, friends and colleagues -- surely high among the world's finest people." Certainly, Judy is one of the brightest lights among these "world's finest people," and the Sierra Club's No Nukes grassroots, and assembled friends and colleagues privileged to have worked with her over the past 50 years, honored her for that.