Originally posted on WB Special Events by Hillary Harris
The Environmental Media Association harnesses star power to bring awareness of environmental issues to consumers. It works hand-in-hand with Hollywood to weave information about these issues into plot lines, conversations between characters and lyrics in television, film, music, and even children’s cartoons.
During her 13 years as President of EMA, Debbie Levin has transformed the association into a marketer of eco-healthy messages and a magnet for young Hollywood; engaging this new generation of celebrity on a deeper level to share the message of environmental awareness.
The Annual EMA Awards – which have taken place at Warner Bros. Studios for the past four years — honor those productions, film and television personalities, corporations, musicians and musical tours that have conveyed environmental messages in the most creative and influential ways. In addition to these awards, the event, which just took place on New York Street, honors individuals for outstanding work.
This year, at the 23rd Annual EMA Awards, honorees included Matt Damon for the EMA Ongoing Commitment Award, Bill McKibben for the Lifetime Achievement award, Anna Getty for the Green Parent Award and Hayden Panettiere for the EMA Futures Award.
These are all amazing achievements, but in my book, Debbie gets the award for most indomitable force in the industry. Our time together producing the EMA Annual Awards is always a highlight of my year. We sat down together after the awards to talk a little more about her passion and what’s next for this dynamic woman and organization.
Hillary: When you joined EMA as President what were some of the actions you took to make EMA so highly visible in the entertainment industry and with young Hollywood?
Debbie: When I took over EMA in February of 2000, the environmental world was populated with the over-40-something crowd. It was definitely not the “cool” thing for middle school or high school kids and Young Hollywood celebs were driving Hummers and sports cars. With teenage children myself, I realized that unless we tapped into the demographic that was selling magazines (this was before social media) and entertainment press, we wouldn’t get the kids to care about the issues our environment was facing. Simply, make green cool. That was my goal. I set out to bring in a much younger group of board members both celebrities and young executives. This would get our message to the right people. I was determined to have EMA single handedly bring down the age of the movement. Continue reading