This afternoon Dr. Jane Goodall and musician Dave Matthews converged at the St. Gregory Hotel to discuss the Gombe 50, a celebration of Goodall’s work as a primatologist, conservationist, and UN Messenger of Peace over the past 50 years.
The unlikely pair first met during 2008′s LiveAid concert, and ever since Dave Matthews has been a strong supporter of Dr. Goodall’s work. “I was knocked out by her courage and beauty,” he recalls “She supports this idea of harmony, and maybe it’s because I’m a musician, but that strikes a chord with me.”
Jane spent the morning with members on the Hill to garnish support for a Global Conservation Act. “If we can get all these agencies to work together, USAID, the Fish and Wildlife foundation, and so many others then having the money pooled will help us get more done.” Goodall added, “This most certainly isn’t a partisan issue. This is something that affects everyone. More people need to realize that and take action in supporting their elected officials that are doing well and criticizing the ones that are doing poorly.”
When asked if either of them saw a future in a political career, Matthews responded, “I’m constantly disappointed by our leaders…and I have too many skeletons in my closet that I wouldn’t want to account for on a political stage.”
Claire Jones from the Jane Goodall Institute mentioned that Dr. Goodall has been working with 60 Minutes, and had positive beltway coverage recently from WaPo‘s Juliet Eilperin and the National Geographic Society concerning her movement. Goodall concluded saying, “Bottom line, this is an issue about our future and it affects us all.”
Tonight Matthews with be performing alongside friend Tim Reynolds at DAR Constitutional Hall (where Goodall gave her first major speech for National Geographic in 1962) to raise awareness for the Jane Goodall Institute. JGI is typically known for its work with conserving chimpanzees but has also spearheaded a movement called Roots & Shoots which helps communities, specifically children, learn about conservation and development for a better tomorrow.
*Special thanks to Meghan Smith and Matt Duckworth who contributed to this post.