From left, Memnosyne Institute co-founder Joshua Frenk, GSDFW director Wendel Withrow, Memnosyne Institute co-founder Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk, GSDFW editor Julie Thibodeaux and former GSDFW editor Phillip Shinoda, sitting, celebrate at the Peacemaker Awards Thursday. Photo courtesy of Lybo Buchanan.
Dec. 7, 2018
Green Source DFW was honored last night at the Dallas Peace and Justice Center’s Peacemaker Awards in Dallas. The online environmental news publication launched by the Dallas-based Memnosyne Institute received the Media Accountability Award.
Wendel Withrow, director of Green Source DFW and the Memnosyne Institute’s Center for the Environment, accepted the award.
“We’re more used to giving out awards than getting them,” joked Withrow.
He recognized Phillip Shinoda, the former director of the Memnosyne Institute’s Center for the Environment, who came up with the idea to start a green news site in 2011.
Phillip Shinoda came up with the idea to launch GreenSourceDFW.org in 2011. Courtesy of Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk.
At the time, Shinoda wanted to do something to bring the DFW environmental community together and toyed with the idea of starting a new meetup group.
However, he talked it over with Dallas environmental activist Margie Haley who told him people volunteering for multiple organizations didn’t have time to add another meeting to their busy schedules.
So instead, he decided to create a virtual meeting place where the green community could share what they were doing and read about what others were doing thus fostering collaboration.
At the same time, he aimed to grow the green movement in North Texas by educating the public about local green issues.
Memnosyne Institute executive director Phillip Collins, Janelle Ellis and Memnosyne cofounder Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk. Courtesy of Isabell Rossignol.
Shinoda, who has a PhD in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley, drew on his experiences starting small businesses along with serving as editor for his high school newspaper at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas.
He hired a web designer to build the site, then put out an ad for environmental writers on Craig’s List.
He drew his first readers by featuring local nonprofits in articles.
“That’s how you get people to read it, they want to hear about themselves,” Shinoda joked.
The site grew mostly by word of mouth.
Today, GreenSourceDFW.org draws 130,000 unique visitors annually and has more than 6,000 subscribers to its newsletter. It continues to promote the North Texas green movement through original reporting, feature articles, green business and nonprofit listings, a green jobs board and a green event calendar overseen by Withrow, and myself, Julie Thibodeaux, GSDFW Editor, and our dedicated team of reporters, including Rita Cook, Marshall Hinsley, Amy Martin, Minnie Payne, Andrea Ridout, Julie Ryan, Jason Winningham (The Green Tip Guy) and Anna Clark.
Clockwise from top left, GSDFW editor Julie Thibodeaux and GSDFW reporters Amy Martin, Andrea Ridout and Julie Ryan. Photo by Karl Thibodeaux.
Today, Green Source DFW covers a variety of environmental topics as they relate to North Texas, including green living, sustainable practices, conservation, environmental advocacy, eco-friendly green businesses and public policy discussions.
"Wendel Withrow and Julie Thibodeaux. Courtesy of Isabell Rossignol.
“We’re [nearly] 10 years old, we’re getting stronger, we have more writers covering more topics and we thank you so much for this award,” said Withrow.
Watch GSDFW Director Wendel Withrow accept the Peacemaker Award