Irma MuñozNat Damm

Irma Muñoz

Founder, Mujeres de la Tierra
Baldwin Vista, Calif.

Los Angeles native Irma Muñoz, 57, founded Mujeres de la Tierra (Women of the Earth) in 2004, after two neighbors died of cancers that they suspected had been caused by nearby oil wells. Her group organizes women in Southern California to fight for cleaner, healthier neighborhoods for their families. Muñoz also serves as an environmental affairs commissioner for Los Angeles. “I think when you talk about the environment, most people are talking about the natural elements: air, water, the earth. But for me, and for many in my community, the environment starts with the family,” she says.