Now that you’re getting ready and getting pumped for the upcoming Second Annual International March for Elephants (October 4, Washington, DC), here are some more reasons to be excited.
This year’s march and rally will feature an impressive lineup of speakers and distinguished guests, including two history-making lawmakers from New Jersey, the CEO of a major animal protection organization, and other innovative wildlife advocates. It’s going to be an inspiring, informative, and moving day as we gather together, celebrate our recent successes, and raise a powerful rallying cry to protect elephants from the brutal ivory trade that threatens their extinction.
We are proud to introduce you to our brilliant and accomplished speakers for the march:
Without a doubt one of New Jersey’s most senior and respected lawmakers, Senator Raymond J. Lesniak has a long and distinguished career in improving lives for New Jersey residents. A long-time animal rights advocate and hero in the fight against extinction, Senator Lesniak was the driving force behind New Jersey’s ivory sales ban this past spring, introducing the groundbreaking legislation and then working tirelessly to ensure its smooth passage through the New Jersey legislature and the Governor’s desk. The senator will open the DC event at the Lincoln Memorial with brief remarks to kick off the procession, and then he will deliver keynote remarks during our rally before the White House at Lafayette Park.
A prolific freshman New Jersey lawmaker, Raj Mukherji has brought a vibrant energy and keen intelligence to the New Jersey political scene and the plight to save elephants from extinction. Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, who is a 30-year-old former software CEO and healthcare entrepreneur, Deputy Mayor of Jersey City, and Sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve, sponsored Lesniak’s bill in the Assembly and campaigned eloquently for its passage until the end. Now he’s joining Senator Lesniak in Washington, DC to advocate for a ban of ivory sales nationwide to protect our world’s remaining elephants. “To end poaching and trafficking, we must eliminate markets and profits for traffickers,” Mukherji said. “That’s why we need a complete, nationwide ban on ivory commerce, following New Jersey’s lead.” Mukherji will deliver closing remarks at our October 4 rally at Lafayette Park in front of the White House.
Ecologist and biologist Andy Dobson brings together his scientific expertise and love of elephants to advocate eloquently for a complete ban of ivory sales.“Anybody who buys any sort of ivory is enhancing the risk that future generations will live in a world without elephants,” Dobson wrote in a recent op-ed piece. “Trade in any form of elephant products increases the demand for more elephants to be killed.” Dobson will join our march and speak during our rally on the importance of ending ivory commerce and safeguarding a future for elephants.
For the past 10 years, Wayne Pacelle has been the face and bold leader of our nation’s largest animal protection organization, The Humane Society, which has nearly 10 million members. Pacelle and his organization have worked for the passage of more than 500 state laws to protect animals and fight extinction, including New Jersey’s recent law banning ivory and rhino horn sales. Pacelle has written and spoken extensively in favor of ending the ivory trade, both worldwide and here in the United States, as a primary strategy to ending illegal poaching. “The fight to protect [elephants] must happen on the ground in the range nations,” Pacelle wrote in the Huffington Post in June. “But it also must happen, in a different way, in the wealthy consumer nations where elephant ivory is carved and turned into high-value products.” Pacelle will speak at our rally about The Humane Society’s efforts to protect elephants and the need for the United States to make a powerful statement to the world against the ivory trade.
Allan Thornton is the co-founder and president of the Environmental Investigation Agency, a highly respected international NGO that works to protect our environment by investigating and exposing environmental crimes, including wildlife trafficking. An expert on wildlife crime, rhinos, and other conservation issues, Thornton will speak about the importance of fighting a multibillion dollar global criminal network of poachers and smugglers. We are thrilled that Thornton will bring his powerful expertise and experience to speaking at our rally before the White House.
A self-described “creative conservationist,” Asher Jay brings talent, innovation, and artistry to the fight against wildlife trafficking. Her renowned global multimedia art campaigns, including a massive animated Times Square billboard, have garnered international acclaim and changed the way thousands of people look at wildlife and conservation issues. Jay was recently named a 2014 Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic. We are psyched that Jay will be bringing her creative spark to our rally and speaking on behalf of elephants and creatives everywhere.
Hailing from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, John Beacher prides himself in being an “adamant singer songwriter, community keystone, and hope enthusiast.” A world traveler and fighter against social injustice, Beacher has performed both solo and with groups, including Elephant Revival, and we are thrilled that he will be performing at our October 4 march in DC. To learn more and listen to his music, visit his website at www.johnbeacher.com.
We’ll also be joined by representatives from Born Free USA.
We hope you all are as excited as we are for our October 4 march to meet these speakers and hear their inspiring words! The march will begin at 12 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial, and the rally will be at approximately 12:45 at Lafayette Park by the White House. For more details on our route, click here.
We can’t wait to see you there!