Trinity University Press

Jane Goodall-Tamara Emmanuel

How Jane Goodall Changed My Life and the World as Well

Tamara Emmanuel

    On September 11, 2001, Jane Goodall was staying in midtown Manhattan in preparation for an address she was to give. That, of course, was when two planes crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. I was used to getting Dame Goodall in and out of some very delicate situations--but despite my best efforts, I could arrange no flights out of town for a full two weeks after the Twin Towers fell.

    You can imagine how crazed her assistant, Mary Lewis, was by then. Then Jane called me to say, “Tammy, I can’t leave now. It is the time to act! I must tell the world we need to come together!” And when the issue of Time magazine with Osama Bin Laden on the cover came out, there, on page two was Jane Goodall, making her statement of global tolerance to the world.

    When I first met this woman, recently elevated to Dame (the female equivalent of a knighthood) by decree of the Queen of England, she was just launching her Roots & Shoots Program, which is helping change the world into something much closer to her vision. Once I spent my time helping her get around the world--to her many lectures and appearances, out of Africa or into a parade with Nelson Mandela. Now I am a substitute teacher and passionately pursuing Jane’s worldview by teaching young students in the Roots & Shoots Program. God Bless Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, and her efforts to build a better world through education.

    Tamara Emmanuel, a teacher in Englewood Schools and Commissioner of Art for Englewood, is still involved with Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program.