Force of nature: Celebrate the life of environmental leader Rebecca Tarbotton

by Phil Radford

January 23, 2013

This Saturday in San Francisco, friends and family of Becky Tarbotton, the Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network, will come together to celebrate her life and mourn our loss of a dear friend, a powerful woman, and a passionate leader.

There is so much to celebrate about Becky: her groundbreaking work to protect forests and indigenous communities, her rise as a powerful female leader in the environmental movement, and her ability to lead a march on Main Street one day and negotiate with Wall Street the next.

The world lost a great leader whose work had only begun. And as big as that is, it feels so small compared to Becky.

Becky Tarbotton was bigger than any role, any organization, or any one victory. She was one of the most authentic, amazing human being I will ever know.

Becky was humble, self doubting, self effacing. And in the face of those doubts, she acted with grace and power, trusting the wisdom that flowed through her. Becky embodied the courage that I wish for all of us: acting not in the absence of fear, but despite it.

Becky lit the sky. She was magnetic, quick to fill a room with a laugh and light it up with a smile. She was a whirlwind of soothing, exciting energy. One hug, one hello, and you felt both alive and at home in her presence.

And Becky was a loyal, incredible friend who listened, shared openly, poured energy into people, asked the best questions, and kept you on the dance floor later than you should have.

The world lost a powerful leader, sister, daughter, wife, and friend in Becky Tarbotton. And we lost something bigger than any role or any words can describe. We lost Becky.

But we havent lost what shes given to each of us. Becky inspired countless people to dig deep and boldly act in the face of uncertainty, from bank executives and the CEO of Walt Disney Corporation to her friends to the donors and activists and staff that make RAN such a powerful organization. We owe it to ourselves to live each day as fully as she, be present for our loved ones, and support each other in breathing deep and taking the leap of courage to act for the people and the places we love in the most uncertain of times.

Read more about Becky’s amazing life and legacy.

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