Double Inspiration: Jane Goodall in Paris (Two of Her!)

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Double Inspiration: Jane Goodall in Paris (Two of Her!)
“It has never been more important than now to give people hope,” Dr. Jane Goodall said during her visit to Paris this week for the grand unveiling of her wax lookalike at the Musée Grévin. “And my job is giving people hope.”  These words were fueled by her lifetime of service and were driven by “the grim state of the world”— words she used to describe our planet’s current condition.  If there were a position of Ambassador for the Planet, 89-year-old primatologist/ethologist/activist Jane Goodall would be at the top of the shortlist. She has dedicated her life to protecting the earth’s animals, humans, and environment and has tenaciously and passionately used her gifts of intelligence, compassion, words, and storytelling to inspire actions that will make a difference.  A lifetime of service. “My job is giving people hope.” © Meredith Mullins With the inauguration of her wax incarnation this week, her message will be heard in new ways. As Musée Grévin Director Yves Delhommeau said in his introduction to the gala induction, “What an honor it is to welcome Dr. Goodall into the museum. In her own powerful words . . . Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved. Your work will remain for future generations.”  A dramatic entrance for the new Jane Goodall waxwork, accompanied by Barbra Streisand singing Memories. © Meredith Mullins Dr. Goodall hopes that, with the wax figure in the public eye, along with information about her life, people will understand what she’s been fighting for — all her life. First, the protection of animals, especially her beloved chimpanzees. But also an understanding that, to protect the animals, the people of the local communities must be a part of the conservation conversation. Jane meets Jane. © Meredith Mullins “If we don’t help these people without destroying the environment, we can’t help chimpanzees, forests, or anything else,” she noted to her Paris audience.  Her solution many years ago was to start the Jane Goodall Institute (in 1977), which focuses on community-led conservation programs. The program now exists in six African countries. Her mission was not to tell the villages what the Institute would do to make their life better, but to ask them what could be done. The villagers then became partners for their future, particularly in ecological food production, health services, and education.

Lead photo credit : Jane Goodall at the Musée Grévin wax figure unveiling. © Meredith Mullins

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Meredith Mullins is an internationally exhibited fine art photographer and instructor based in Paris. Her work is held in private and museum collections in Europe and the U.S. and can be seen at or in her award-winning book "In A Paris Moment." (If you’re in Paris, a few rare, signed copies are available at Shakespeare and Company and Red Wheelbarrow.) She is a writer for OIC Moments and other travel and education publications.


  • Pamela Spurdon
    2023-12-16 06:03:48
    Pamela Spurdon
    Fascinating woman and so glad Meredith knew how to take great shots (especially the final portrait) and record the talk simultaneously. Brilliant topic and excellent write-up.


    •  Meredith Mullins
      2023-12-20 09:01:27
      Meredith Mullins
      Thank you for writing, Pamela. I hope others were as inspired as I was by this amazing planet advocate. Happy holidays.