The award was presented to activist philanthropist Dr. Melanie Lundquist, who symbolically turned the award over to Braverman as a testament to her leadership in the next generation of climate innovators.
"With an eye on inspiring our future – our young people, I am turning this award over to an inspiring young woman, Inna Braverman," said Lundquist. "She is showing the world that the ocean economy can create jobs and help save the planet. She represents the best of the next generation of innovators – all focused on a cleaner future."
Melanie and her husband, Richard Lundquist, are two of California's most significant philanthropists. Signatories of the Giving Pledge, the Lundquists have committed over $400 million over the past decade to critical causes ranging from education and health care access to innovation and climate change mitigation.
They have appeared five times on The Philanthropy 50, the annual list of America's 50 most generous philanthropists published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. In their philanthropy, they focus on a variety of causes, including education, innovation, and combating climate change. Melanie was named "Philanthropist of the Year" by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2019.
"Before I share a few words about Melanie and accept this award, I want to take a moment to say that the tragedy that transpired in Israel on Friday was unprecedented and of one's worst nightmares. My heart is completely broken for all the victims of this terror attack. However, I know that Israel is a strong and resilient country and more peaceful times will be ahead. I ask that you join me in prayers and help for the Israeli nation," said Inna Braverman
"In such a difficult time, I am humbled that Melanie has chosen to pass this award on to me. It says a lot about who Melanie is as a person – laser-focused on the next generation and on making a positive impact."
During a trip to Israel in March 2023, Grades of Green Founder Shaya Kirkpatrick visited and toured Eco Wave Power's landmark EWP-EDF One power station at Jaffa Port, which was recently connected to Israel's national energy grid. In the coming months, Eco Wave Power will install its first-ever US pilot station at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles.
About The Mother Earth Award
The Mother Earth is given annually by Grades of Green, a nonprofit organization with a mission to educate and empower students to take action and lead environmental change in order to create a clean and sustainable environment for generations to come. Past recipients of the award include international environmental advocate Laura Turner Seydel, chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation who also serves on the board of the United Nations Foundation. Earlier this year, Braverman joined Turner Seydel and Melanie Lundquist in Atlanta for a high-level discussion on creating a just transition to a blue and green economy.