Mary Lacques: Hawai‘i SEED
A third generation Californian, Mary Lacques moved to the north shore of O‘ahu thirteen years ago while working for Patagonia. It was at Patagonia Santa Cruz where she first learned about genetic engineering, but arrived in the Islands unaware of the massive biotech/chemical companies’ operations in the islands. Hawai‘i, considered a “sacrifice zone,” has more open air experimental test sites than anywhere else in the country, and because of a year-round growing season, produces the Parent Line of GE seeds that are shipped worldwide.
It was at Patagonia that she was trained, nurtured and encouraged to organize events bringing public awareness to myriad issues dealing with land and water, agroecological practices and pesticide issues.
Mary is the O‘ahu Outreach Coordinator for Hawai‘i SEED, a nonprofit organization and coalition of grassroots groups, parents, educators, farmers, activists and communities from five islands working to educate the public about the risks posed by genetically engineered organisms, and to promote diverse, local, healthy and ecological food and farming systems.
While Hawai‘i SEED realizes the issues around genetic engineering and the pesticide-promoting crops associated with this technology, the patenting of life, and the threat to seed diversity and the diversity of Hawai‘i’s fragile ecosystem are complex and multifaceted, the need for grassroots level organizing has never been more critical.
Recently, Mary organized the 2013 Raise Awareness Inspire Change Vandana Shiva events on O‘ahu, contributed to the second edition of Hawai‘i SEED’s educational booklet Facing Hawai‘i’s Future, and facilitated a partnership with O‘ahu’s Olelo Community Television, which in turn solidified a partnership with each island’s public television stations while organizing the four night GMO Week. Mary continues to promote and plan numerous educational events around O‘ahu that connect and galvanize communities to become more involved in Hawai‘i’s agricultural issues. A commitment to working for the most vulnerable in society and her love of children is Mary’s motivation and inspiration for this work.
To learn more about issues in Hawai‘i:
Please Visit: The Hawai‘i SEED Website
Please Visit: The Stop Poisoning Paradise Website
Please Visit: The Hawai‘i Center for Food Safety Action Fund Website
Please Visit: The ‘Ōlelo Website