Brooke Larsen, a second-year master’s student in the Environmental Humanities Graduate Program, recently won the Bell Prize for her essay What Are We Fighting For? The Bell Prize honors Tom Bell, the founder of High Country News. Bell founded High Country News in 1970 and was a strong voice for conservation and environmental issues in the American West. The Bell Prize is awarded to emerging writers, aged 18 to 25, who can carry on that legacy.
Larsen said, “I've always looked to High Country News to make sense of the politics and environmental challenges we face in the American West, so it's a great honor to be acknowledged as an emerging writer from the magazine.”
Larsen is passionate about storytelling and the climate justice movement. In 2017, she cycled across the Colorado Plateau (a total of 1500 miles) collecting stories about environmental justice, which she will use in her creative project for the program. Larsen also helped to organize the 2016 Uplift Conference, a climate conference created “by young people, for young people.”
“The interdisciplinary nature of the EH program has allowed me to pull knowledge from a variety of fields such as sociology, creative writing, political science, and history,” said Larsen. “Most importantly, the program has encouraged engagement outside of the classroom, enhancing the community organizing work I do.”