Celebrating 25 Years of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots


In 1991, Dr. Jane and a group of 12 high school students met on her back porch in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They discussed issues facing their community and began to imagine the actions they could take to address them. These students would become members of the first ever Roots & Shoots group as it was there, on February 19, 1991, that Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots was born.

Roots & Shoots calls upon young people to be leaders in their communities today (instead of waiting to be “the leaders of tomorrow.”) Inspired by Dr. Jane’s story and by following in her footsteps, students all over the world identify real problems facing their communities and develop action plans to enact positive change.

Reflecting on the impact of Roots & Shoots over the years, Dr. Jane writes:

“When I first met with high school students 25 years ago, I hoped that it would spread to other countries. I could not have dreamt that a quarter of century later it would represent thousands of young people around the world learning about local problems, planning projects and creating so many hands on activities to benefit their communities, animals and the environment we all share. I am immensely proud of all those who have been a part of the programme over the years and hope that 2016 will be a year of celebration of all that Roots & Shoots has achieved and a platform to launch us ever further in the years ahead.”

Today, 25 years after the first group met on Dr. Jane’s porch, there are Roots & Shoots groups in more than 130 countries totaling over 500,000 members globally. Roots & Shoots has become a powerful network of changemakers whose actions weave together to create massive, worldwide change.

In 2016, we’re celebrating each and every member of Roots & Shoots. Thank you for your role in creating a better future.

Join the global celebration at www.rootsandshoots.org/25years.

About Author

Adrienne earned a master of science degree in anthrozoology (the study of human-animal interactions) from Canisius College in 2014 where she also completed her undergraduate studies in political science. She has worked with the Jane Goodall Institute's youth program, Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots since 2011. Adrienne has served for the past two years as their Program Coordinator. In addition, she has been involved with TEDxBuffalo, WNY's independently organized TEDx event, since 2012 and served as the director of the event in 2014 and 2015.