Wangari was proud of this aspect of her legacy, but she knew it wasn’t enough. In her final months, between chemotherapy sessions, she worked to link the two great passions of her life: her belief in the need to raise environmental consciousness and her commitment to grassroots development. These two would be merged through the creation of the Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI) at the University of Nairobi.
As Wangari envisioned it, WMI would bring to the academy the experiences of GBM’s community-based networks so that future policy-makers, political leaders, and community organizers could understand the realities of ordinary people, and develop far-sighted initiatives to assist them. Students and professionals from across Africa and other continents would also learn from the values on which GBM was founded.