Laurel Firestone is an environmental justice lawyer devoted to the betterment of disadvantaged farm communities in the San Joaquin Valley. Her nonprofit, the Community Water Center, helps bring clean and affordable drinking water to those who lack this basic human right. She also serves on the Tulare County Water Commission.
In 2009, Firestone authored the comprehensive Guide to Community Drinking Water Advocacy. The following year, she and Susana De Anda, her co-director at the Center, received the Carla Bard Advocacy Award for going beyond the call of duty in grassroots environmentalism.
Firestone began her career as director of the Rural Poverty Water Project at the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment in Delano. She graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, where she engaged in a variety of human rights/environmental law projects, from working with trash pickers in major cities of Brazil to advising indigenous groups in the Amazon who sought to protect their traditional knowledge and genetic resources. She also holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies, magna cum laude, from Brown University.