Laurel Firestone co-founded and co-directs the Community Water Center (CWC), a nonprofit environmental justice organization located in Visalia, Ca. The CWC helps disadvantaged communities gain access to clean and affordable water. She previously served as the director of the Rural Poverty Water Project at the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment in Delano, Ca, under a 2004-06 Equal Justice Works Fellowship. In 2009, Firestone wrote the comprehensive "Guide to Community Drinking Water Advocacy," and in 2010 she and co-founder Susana De Anda were awarded the Carla Bard Advocacy Award from the Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform (POWER), given to one water advocate in Ca. each year. She currently serves on the Tulare County Water Commission.
During law school, Firestone pursued a variety of projects combining human rights and environmental law, from working with trash pickers in the major cities of Brazil to advising indigenous groups in the Amazon who sought to protect their traditional knowledge and genetic resources. She was active in the Harvard Environmental Law Society's Environmental Working Group, a member of the Steering Committee of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and article and submissions editor on the Harvard Environmental Law Review. She was also a 2002 Chayes International Public Service Fellow.
Before attending Harvard Law School, Firestone worked with IMAZON, a small Brazilian environmental research NGO located in Belém, Pará, on the mouth of the Amazon. Her work there focused on the use of satellite imagery and GIS to monitor forest degradation, and the role of this technology in forestry law enforcement.
Firestone holds a B.A. magna cum laude in Environmental Studies from Brown University (2000).
Read more about the issue that Laurel seeks to address in the New York Times: "The Problem is Clear: The Water is Filthy"