This is an incredible video of a Canadian girl who spoke to the United Nations and left them completely silent and speechless for six minutes. Her name is Severn Cullis-Suzuki, and her speech was given at a U.N. assembly in Brazil when she was twelve years old. She had raised all the money to travel to the delegation, five thousand miles from her home, herself.
Severn Cullis-Suzuki was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Her mother is writer Tara Elizabeth Cullis. Her father, geneticist and environmental activist David Suzuki, is a third-generation Japanese Canadian.While attending Lord Tennyson Elementary School in French Immersion, at age 9, she founded the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a group of children dedicated to learning and teaching other youngsters about environmental issues.In 1992, at age 12, Cullis-Suzuki raised money with members of ECO, to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Along with group members Michelle Quigg, Vanessa Suttil, and Morgan Geisler, Cullis-Suzuki presented environmental issues from a youth perspective at the summit, where she was applauded for a speech to the delegates. The video has since become a viral hit, popularly known as “The Girl Who Silenced the World for 6 Minutes”. In 1993, she was honoured in the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global 500 Roll of Honour. In 1993, Doubleday published her book Tell the World , a 32-page book of environmental steps for families.
Cullis-Suzuki graduated from Yale University in 2002 with a B.Sc. in ecology and evolutionary biology. After Yale, Cullis-Suzuki spent two years travelling. Cullis-Suzuki co-hosted Suzuki’s Nature Quest, a children’s television series that aired on the Discovery Channel in 2002.
In early 2002, she helped launch an Internet-based think tank called The Skyfish Project. As a member of Kofi Annan’s Special Advisory Panel, she and members of the Skyfish Project brought their first project, a pledge called the “Recognition of Responsibility”, to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August 2002 The Skyfish Project disbanded in 2004 as Cullis-Suzuki turned her focus back to school and enrolled in a graduate course in the University of Victoria to study ethnobotany under Nancy Turner.
Severn is married and lives with her husband and child in Haida Gwaii.
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The Girl Who Silenced the World / 20th Anniversary