The first ‘World Water Week’ took place, March 21-25, 2011 at Seattle’s Chief Sealth International High School. The festival was organized by Chief Sealth senior Molly Freed, her teacher Noah Zeichner and a group of 50 students and teachers, in collaboration with several local organizations, including Water 1st International.
Last summer, the Bezos Family Foundation selected Freed and Zeichner as Bezos Scholars — two of only 24 across the nation — to attend the Aspen Ideas Festival. At the festival, scholars were directed to create their own local Ideas Festival, and Freed and Zeicher developed the idea of World Water Week.
World Water Week promoted understanding of the relationship between members of the Seattle community with water and around the world, with the emphasis on improving that relationship through conservation and local action addressing equal access for all global citizens.
The week consisted of speakers and engaging workshops for students, teachers and the community, including keynote speaker, Robert Glennon, professor of law and public policy at the University of Arizona and author of the bestselling book, Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What to do about it. Representatives from the Duwamish Tribe attended the event and provided a blessing for World Water Week.
March 25th was the big day, as each grade level participated in a walk for water. Students (and staff) carried 1 to 5 gallons of water around the track for a couple of miles, simulating what over 1 billion people do every day to gather water for their families. This event was the culmination of a month-long fundraiser, benefiting Water 1st.
Congratulations and thank you, Chief Sealth!