Planet Women envisions a world where the vibrant diversity of earth’s people collaborate to care for the planet. Currently, the organization is focused on three geographic areas defined by rivers — the Congo, Amazon, and Colorado River Basins. Each area has an immense influence over global climate patterns and biodiversity or an outsized impact on the communities that depend on them.
Of course, since Forever Our Rivers works in the southwestern United States, we're most interested in Planet Women's work along the Colorado River. And this podcast centers on their innovative Overflight Project.
The initiative pairs volunteer women pilots with indigenous women leaders and youth from in and around the Colorado River Basin. The pilots then fly the women over their homelands, sparking inspiration and storytelling along the way.
Planet Women plans to capture and share these stories of a landscape in the midst of aridification as seen through the eyes of indigenous women in flight. To learn more and to see photos from the flights and their progress across the Basin, visit the Overflight Storymap.
In this episode, we talk to Joanna Marshall, Planet Women's director of development and marketing, and Amber Gray, a pilot and the Overflight Project's aviation operations director.
We also speak to Crystal Tulley-Cordova of the Navajo Nation and the Indigenous Women's Leadership Network. Crystal is a principal hydrologist for the Navajo Nation and a participant in the Overflight program.
If you are or know of indigenous woman leaders or youth who would like to participate in the Overflight Project email TheOverflightProject@gmail.com.
Fact-checking notes: In this episode, we briefly discuss the amount of oil that the United States and California import from the Amazon. We cite a 2021 study as reported by NBC News in an article titled, Crude reality: One U.S. state consumes half of the oil from the Amazon rainforest, and the California Energy Commission's Foreign Sources of Crude Oil Imports to California 2021.
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