A tribute to our founder, Arlie Schardt

June 8, 2020

Our country is gripped in the throes of an historic turning point in the centuries-long battle to overcome cultural and institutionalized racism, inequality, inequity, hate and fear. 

During this wrenching time, it’s important to remember people who have dedicated their lives to the fight for human rights, and to making good the freedom and opportunity that is America’s broken promise.  Many of these people are now passing the baton to this new generation in the streets demanding change today.

Arlie Schardt was one of those people. 

The founder of Environmental Media Services, parent of EMS-West which morphed into Resource Media in 2000, Arlie passed away May 25 at 87-years-old after a decades-long fight with cancer. 

Arlie’s passion for civil rights was woven into the fabric of his very being. Until the day he left us, Arlie dedicated himself to the fight for civil rights, clean air and water, healthy food, wildlife, land and forest protection, and to stop climate change, pollution and health threats from toxic chemicals. 

Arlie made a mammoth-size impact on so many of our lives, empowering us through his servant leadership, and inspiring us with his contagious enthusiasm. Like a candle that lights many with the same flame, Arlie’s spark has fueled hundreds of changemakers, activists, journalists and policymakers to enjoin the good fight.

Jon Coifman, a former EMS staffer, said, “If you’re lucky, you might cross paths with one or two people in your life who are genuinely magical – not the smartest or most talented or even the most charismatic, but someone possessed with an energy that puts them in a category all their own. Arlie Schardt was one of those people…Arlie was a man of visceral principle and humor, even (or especially) when he was going ballistic about whatever shitty thing the latest congressman or oil company was up to. He was a champion of civil rights, the environment and good jazz to the last.”

Resource Media is fortunate to have the opportunity to carry on the legacy of Arlie Schardt, and to find inspiration in his open-hearted zeal for forging a just, equitable society and a healthy planet.

Read this article to learn more about Arlie’s incredible life.

— Kristin Hyde, former EMS Seattle Office Director