November Newsletter: Live From the EMA Awards!

Live From the EMA Awards!

We are so thrilled and grateful for your support making the 26th Annual EMA Awards incredibly warm, impactful, and authentic. The power of each of our Honorees was literally palatable in the “room.” That’s a feat in the very large, under-the-stars backlot at Warner Bros Studios! And… there were more tears (and cheers) than I ever remember. Backstage was appropriately full of the love that was shared with the audience. This year was truly a gift.

Thanks to the connected world we live in, our Awards were able to reach millions/billions via social media and the press. For example, the night's hashtag #EMAAwards received over 50 million organic impressions over the weekend of the Awards. We also went viral, with Shailene's speech garnering over 14 million views on Facebook alone. Though the numbers continue to grow each day, our press impressions are reaching 2 billion!! This is everything!  Reaching numbers like this with our message of hope and solutions is what we're all about. Giving social and cultural influencers and activists a platform to talk about the environmental issues that they’re passionate about.

Collectively, the EMA family has the potential to reach an enormous audience and influence people who may not consider themselves environmentalists to go bring sustainability and environmental behavior and (with our impending Administration), much-needed activism.

The Future is Bright for Environmental Messaging

"Live a more compassionate life, because the ripple effect of that is what is going to save our oceans, our planet, our race." - Shailene Woodley

There was an overarching message of how compassion, love, and determination can and will solve our environmental issues. This is how the youth of this country feel, and it's our role to empower them and give them the opportunity to make a difference.

The show was an impressive showcase of the environmental industry’s bright future. With a combined social media reach of over 100 million, our young influencers are tech-savvy, passionate, and ready to become the next generation of leaders. EMA has tapped into the passion of Millennials and younger generations by giving them an opportunity to do just that.

With so much adversity and daunting challenges facing younger generations, it’s inspiring to see that they are reacting with optimism and action instead of ignoring it. As Jaden said during his speech, ”I want to be part of the change. I want to do something about this.”

Thank you!

We'd like to thank our kick ass, passionate, so charming and funny.. while never missing an opportunity to inspire, Host, our own Nicole Richie. We’re so thankful for Nicole and so many of you, our dedicated Board Members for your continued tireless work not only attending and presenting as eloquently as you do, but all year supporting and magnifying the (now, more than ever) urgent issues we globally face.

And our AMAZING Honorees!!!  Jaden Smith and Shailene Woodley brought our audience to their feet representing a “Future” of absolute leadership from these two remarkable millennials. With all the difficult news these past few weeks, their voices will ring so loud working to keep our sustainability goals on track.  They are shining stars for our movement.  Food activist, Robyn O'Brien motivated the parents in the room with her “Ted-like” speech and the United Nations PRI clearly explained the role of Impact Investment and how that moves the needle.  And Moby… just wow… His speech, his performance, and his presence are simply inspirational. We’d also like to thank our world-class Chefs Jon & Vinny for making such a delicious and eco-friendly (vegan/vegetarian) dinner.

The night would not have been possible if it weren't for our dear friends at Toyota and Lexus for their steadfast support and innovative technology. 16 years everyone! We keep making history with this relationship.  And our new friends at Calvert Investments, they have not only given us the brilliant John Streur as an Executive Board Member but have opened up the world of Impact Investment for us leading and partnering with our March 22-23 inaugural EMA IMPACT Summit.

And of course, we'd like to extend our most sincere gratitude to our partners Applegate, Babyganics, Bona, Clover Organic Farms, Earth Friendly Products, Gardein, The Hess Collection, JUST Water, Kellogg Garden Products, LAcarGUY, Montage Hotels & Resorts, Star Waggons, Stella Artois, and Swarovski. Thanks to all of our outstanding partners and sponsors, EMA can grow and expand our important environmental messaging and programs each and every year.

Click here for videos and pictures from the 2016 EMA Awards!

Q&A With EMA Board Member Ray Halbritter, Representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises

EMA: It’s been an honor having you on EMA’s Board for many, many years. Why is being a Member of EMA important to you?

Ray: A Native American proverb reminds us that we must “treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents — it was loaned to you by your children." If we care about the seventh generation -- and all future generations -- we each have an obligation to do what we can to protect this planet. My service on EMA’s board is one of the ways the Oneida Indian Nation seeks to put that obligation into action.

EMA: What role does the entertainment industry have in bringing attention to issues facing Native American communities?

 Ray: For much of the last century in popular culture, Native Americans have been portrayed as historical relics, if they have been portrayed at all. That has unfortunately helped destructive stereotypes persist, and has downplayed our community’s priorities. In recent years, we have made progress in convincing the entertainment industry to portray the Native American story more accurately and more prominently include our people in the entertainment productions that shape this country’s collective consciousness. I am confident that with our work, we can continue convincing this industry to play a powerful part in championing equality for all people of color.

EMA: You’ve led a movement to “Change the Mascot” for the last few years. Can you tell us about that?

Ray: The Washington professional football team openly promotes a dictionary-defined racial slur as its name. Social science research tells us that this has significant negative psychological and social consequences for our people. It teaches other Americans to look at us as cartoonish mascots rather than as human beings. The entire organizing principle of our campaign is that the National Football League must stand on the right side of history and change the name. We do not deserve to be treated as mascots -- we deserve to be treated as equals and as Americans.

EMA: The Oneida Nation has joined many other tribes in standing in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. How important is it for people of different tribes, cultures, religions, etc. to come together over this issue?

Ray: Solidarity and sovereignty are two sacred principles for Native Americans. We cannot sit idly by and watch the powerful callously trample people who have already faced so much mistreatment over the course of history. For anyone concerned about the cause of social justice, there is a moral imperative to support the Standing Rock Sioux. I just returned from my second trip to Standing Rock where I stood with these dedicated individuals whose only purpose at these camps is to protect their land, our planet, and its most basic elements. I witnessed firsthand the mix of corporate, state and local powers working together to stamp out our first amendment right. This was such a vivid reminder of all that is at stake and why we can’t be silent in this type of attack against our fundamental rights as Americans and humans. Standing Rock is a powerful demonstration of people standing together to preserve our most important resources.

EMA: And what is it about Standing Rock that has moved you to get involved?

Ray: We have learned time and time again throughout history that when one of our tribes is threatened, we are all threatened. These are our fellow Americans -- they deserve our support and our unity in their fight for their sacred homelands, and their fight to keep their water clean.

EMA: Why do you think this issue has attracted so much attention, not only from within this country but from around the world?

Ray: This fight is important unto itself, but it is also an illustration of a larger moment. We are living in an era in which the divide between the powerful and powerless has grown to epic proportions. The move to forcibly trample the most basic civil and human rights of a Native American tribe captures the essence of this entire era -- it has become a symbol of what is happening in so many difference situations across the world, and why we must fight back.

EMA: Let’s address the elephant in the room. What does a Trump presidency mean for our environmental progress?

Ray: Donald Trump has in the past said climate change is a “hoax.” My hope is that he takes a more pragmatic, moral and science-based approach than his past rhetoric portends. If he does work to protect this fragile planet, I have no doubt he will find enthusiastic allies in the environmental community.

EMA: How do you think the EMA & Oneida team can be influential and powerful in their union?

Ray: Collaboration is one of the guiding foundational principles of the Oneida Indian Nation. We see this particular collaboration as symbiotic -- we are devoted to environmental justice, and we know that instilling environmental values requires an ongoing education campaign. We also know that EMA sees us as a resource for how environmental issues uniquely affect Native American populations -- and we know that it respects our experiences. The more closely we work together, the more successful we will be in promoting our shared values.

EMA: Are you hopeful for innovation and solutions to move our sustainable economy forward?

Ray: Absolutely. This month is Native American Heritage Month -- and as we look back at the Native American story, we can feel optimistic about the future. Our story is one of persistence and triumph through adversity -- it is one that lets us know that Martin Luther King, Jr was right when he said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I believe the same will be said about this country’s economic future. We know we face immense challenges, and we know the path to a sustainable and environmentally respectful economy will be rocky, but this is a country in which overcoming adversity is a core principle. It is who we are -- and it is who we will be as we build a 21st-century economy.

A Message for the Future From K. Asher Levin, Director of Business Development

Wednesday morning after the election I woke up like a lot of Americans, in a state of confusion. Was last night a nightmare, a farce, reality television insidiously taking over our country? Perhaps it was all that and more.

Inside the bubbles we create for ourselves on the various social media platforms we use to share news and opinions that keep us comfortably informed a giant crack broke open.

Were we all that ignorant? Had we been living with the blinders on? And most importantly, the question of where do we go from here began to echo from state to state, undivided with the very definition of liberty and justice questioned for all.

Yes, there will be protests. Yes, friendships will be broken. Yes, families will be divided.

But after all the anger and resentment and cynicism and blame, we will all be faced with the same brave new future.

A future where our government may no longer want to save our planet.

A future where our leaders may remove funding for the very things that protect our families and our friends every day.

So then, where do we go from here?

Do we continue to argue about electoral votes and our fellow Americans who have used this election as a symbol of defiance to progress in this country? Or do we use this defeat as the engine of the next great revolution?

A revolution where social and environmental issues finally come together and unify. A revolution where we stop waiting for our country to do something and finally get up and do it ourselves.

Governments across our planet haven't been responsible for the amazing innovations that will change our future, people have.

So today I ask each and every one of you to stop posting on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram about the shame you have for our political system and begin to think about what you can do to change our culture independently.

We are all in this together. History doesn't remember the naysayers; they remember the difference makers.

Go out and make a difference.

Environmental Media Network on

We've partnered with the great minds at to create the Environmental Media Network, a podcast channel that currently includes the two shows:

GOING GREEN with Asher Levin

In the world of environmental policies, there are literally limitless opinions on climate change, natural disasters, political controversies and technological innovations but for most of us, it’s not about what we believe it’s about how to understand the facts that are among us.  In an attempt to get the most objective view on a variety of topics, EMA’s Director of Business Development, Asher Levin, has created a new podcast casting himself as the ultimate novice to give you the most expert perspectives. Each week, Asher will “Go Green” into an interview, with no prep, research or pre-interview on the subject, and ask a series of questions he has never seen prepared by his producer, Jay Jasinski.

THE ORGANIC LUNCH with Debbie Levin

With over seventeen years of experience as the face of The Environmental Media Association, EMA president, Debbie Levin, will turn her intimate and personal approach to environmental action into podcast format. Each week, Debbie will have an “Organic Lunch” with luminaries in film, television, politics, technology, and beyond and look past the standard questions to create an in-depth discussion about what has inspired these icons to use their one-of-a-kind personas to change our planet for the better.

Listen to our first Podcasts and stay-tuned for more!

Going Green With Asher Levin Episode One: Moby

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