Breckenridge, 14, founds non-profit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation
14-year-old Devon Galpin wants to prove that you don’t have to be an adult to fight for what you believe in: activism has no minimum age. The Summit Middle School student, with the help of his mother Shannon Galpin, has started a nonprofit with several ambitious projects drawing attention to the planet’s rapidly endangered wildlife.
Devon is originally from Breckenridge and her passion for wildlife began at the age of 4 when she became interested in the rare and elusive snow leopards that roam the steppes of Central Asia. Over the next few years, Devon became a co-founder of Endangered Activism, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife through research, art, activism and medias.
âIt was created as a mother-daughter collaboration to encourage youth activism, especially with endangered species conservation and climate change,â Devon said.
Activism in Danger will present a feature documentary next year that will follow the team as they learn about the conservation of wildlife around the world. During what would have been her seventh year in college, Devon was homeschooled while she was producing the documentary.
The film shows the team on a research trip to places as far apart as Namibia, Patagonia and Borneo. Devon has conducted dozens of interviews with conservation experts, scientists, activists, wildlife officials and locals to understand the approach taken by other nations and cultures to protect their own endangered wildlife .
With the documentary, Devon plans to bring back to Colorado the lessons and knowledge she gained from her job. Devon is also in the process of creating a graphic novel, which features endangered animals as characters telling the story of their lives and threats, to pair with the film to attract the people she thinks are the most. important to the fight against mass extinction – other children.
âOne of the things I’ve always felt is that kids don’t seem to have a voice very often,â Devon said. “I wanted children to be heard, to have a voice, so that they could make a difference.”
Devon also collaborated with Mexican artist Diana Garcia to create a traveling street art exhibition titled “What We Lose”. The exhibit, which features large pastel drawings of endangered animals telling their stories, was shown in Paris, Oxford and Denver as part of the city’s “Crush Walls” street art exhibit. in 2018.
While Devon firmly controls the project, her mother certainly provided her own spark and courage to push forward the endangered activism. Shannon Galpin is already a world-renowned explorer and activist who was named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic in 2013 and has worked in Afghanistan for a decade to promote women’s rights.
Shannon was also the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan and helped form the first Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team. Shannon has overseen other projects with her nonprofit Mountain2Mountain, such as working in Afghan women’s prisons and partnering to build a school for the deaf.
Despite her many accomplishments, Shannon insists that endangered activism is Devon’s work of love, and she has focused on helping her daughter nurture and strengthen her own activist spirit.
âThe issues I see around wildlife conservation are no different from the human rights issue, which is apathy,â Shannon said in a clip from one of the shorts that will be released before documentary. âDevon started out as’ I want to be engaged, but I’m only 11. I want to have a voice and I want to make a difference. ‘ I don’t think she’s the only one.
Shannon said she hopes the endangered activism not only educates children about wildlife issues, but also encourages and empowers other mothers and daughters to team up and work to solve global problems.
âOne of the goals of this documentary was to present mother-daughter storytelling and the portrayal of women as explorers,â Shannon said. âI’m a member of the Explorers Club, but when I was young women weren’t at the Explorers Club. I think it’s important to have representations of women exploring and traveling in visual storytelling; to show that this is something mothers and daughters can do together.
Shannon hopes the documentary and the journey she and Devon have taken will spark a new conversation about how mother-daughter relationships can form and how their adventures are just as worth telling as the tales. father son.
âI see it as a different way of parenting,â Shannon said. “Much like road trips during summer vacation, it’s immersive education and another way to interact with kids.”
You can follow Endangered Activism’s work at EndangeredActivism.org.