A year ago this month, the all-volunteer Parvati Foundation was forever changed by the sudden and untimely death of our Director of Strategic Initiatives, and dear friend, Darcy Belanger, who was aboard the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Like many on that plane whose voices for a healthy world were tragically silenced, he was on his way to the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi. A year later, we still grieve his loss. We often speak of him, with smiles and laughter, as well as tears. We feel him close, helping the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) from the “other side”.
In the wake of his passing, the Parvati Foundation and Parvati Magazine have continued to grow and move MAPS forward. Darcy’s legacy of courage has inspired many of the people whose voices you will encounter in this special Parvati Magazine issue entitled “A Voice for Everyone”.
The concept of “MAPS: A Voice for Everyone” first came to me while I was in the midst of a media whirlwind following the crash. I was carrying out my role as Parvati Foundation’s CEO and Founder, while also serving as the designated spokesperson for Darcy’s family. It became clear that our global ecological and humanitarian crisis had to be given a voice. We needed to highlight the practical and effective response found in MAPS to safeguard all life. That was the message Darcy was carrying and why he was on the plane. MAPS is about how we are all connected and are potential catalysts for mass change as one Earth family. MAPS is literally for everyone.
In this issue, core volunteers (many who knew Darcy well) share in their own way how MAPS has given them a voice. And of course, the issue would not be complete without Darcy’s own words. He was a great fan of Parvati Magazine, and wrote a column for it just weeks before he left for Kenya. We share it here again to celebrate his enduring legacy of courage, compassion and generosity that activated so many others in turn for MAPS.
Though this is a special edition similar to the one we produced last year for Darcy, you will find some of our regular columns and interviews to keep you connected. Bestselling author Matt Emerzian speaks with us about his recent book “You Matter”. We interview Edinburgh Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, about making art accessible to all. We’ve got tips for books, music and film to check out this month. I share guidance on finding and trusting your own authentic voice. This and much more.