Commit2Respond Spotlight - June 2, 2016

Mark Your Calendar

Tuesday, June 14th, 7:30 PM EST
Environmental Justice Practitioners’ Network Webinar

“The ECONOMIC Core of Environmental and Racial Oppression.
Be part of the change.”     Presented by Elandria Williams

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Eight UU Ministers Arrested In Multifaith Direct Action to #StopSpectra West Roxbury Pipeline

On May 25, 2016, Sixteen local religious leaders were arrested for blocking the construction of the West Roxbury Lateral pipeline with an interfaith worship service, out of concern over global climate change and public safety. The prayerful protest was organized and led by Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman of Temple Sinai in Brookline. The clergy gathered in West Roxbury at 8am and began to pray standing in front of the gate to the metering & regulating station adjacent to 10 Grove Street. They then marched to the contentious site of pipeline construction, and entered the site to lead prayer and song while stopping construction. Passersby were invited to join in the worship and the number of participants amounted to 100. The clergy prayed and sang until the police placed them under arrest. Participating religious denominations include American Baptist, Buddhist, Episcopal, Hindu, Jewish, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist. Fully half of those arrested were Unitarian Universalist ministers from the greater Boston area:

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Unitarian Universalists "Break Free" In Unprecedented Global Wave of Direct Action

An unprecedented wave of public protests and civil disobedience for climate justice has taken place this month! More than 30,000 people worldwide took bold, direct actions to call for a transition to 100% renewable energy and a "Break Free" from fossil fuels!

Unitarian Universalist faith communities and activists played a part in many places. Check it out:

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UU Fellowship of Corvallis Boosts Community Solar Power Access with Local Re-Investment

Imagine this: Climate activists, fully grasping the enormity of the climate crisis, urge their church to take bold financial actions to help ameliorate it. Now add Board members committed to protecting their church legally and financially. What might happen? An adversarial situation, leading to hard feelings? Or a focus on right relations and working together for ethical use of financial resources, in accordance with UU principles? For the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, Oregon (UUFC), in our climate justice work, there is sometimes a bit of the first before we achieve the latter. I’m always grateful and delighted when the conflict is respectful, right relations hold strong, and our projects turn out well. It’s never simple!

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BREAK FREE! Global Wave of Direct Action to Keep It In the Ground


Picture by Eamon Ryan - Cliff of Moher, Ireland


A global wave of non-violent direct action to demand that oil, gas and coal be kept in the ground has begun. On May 3rd, over 300 activists occupied the largest open cast coal mine in the United Kingdom for 12 hours, and no arrests were made! Many activists in the Break Free movement are contending that they are not law-breakers, but in fact, law-enforcers of the Public Trust Doctrine -- ensuring a livable planet for future generations.


Mass actions are taking place in:

Anacortes, WA

Albany, NY

Chicago area (Whiting, IN)

Denver area (Lakewood, CO)

Los Angeles, CA

Washington, DC


Break Free organizers have also created a system that notifies you when actions first occur and how to follow them online so that you can be a “digital witness” to events as they are taking place across the globe.

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Join the Conversation: EJ and Black Lives Matter

Join the conversation!  You are invited to an interactive webinar about Environmental Justice (EJ) work , Black Lives Matter and other racial justice activism. 

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A Celebration and Prayer for Earth Day

“When we act alone, it is true that we feel powerless. Our strength and courage, though, shine out when we join with a group of others, all with the same values, working for the same cause.” Rev. Marilyn Sewell, The Moral Demands of Climate Change. 

Earth Day is the culmination of the Commit2Respond  Climate Justice Month, 2016.  Looking at today’s actions and those taken over the past few weeks, it is clear that we have come together with strength and courage. 

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Celebrating Earth Day & Climate Justice Through Poetry

Thank you to all who have participated in Climate Justice Month's week of poetry, and especially those who have shared on our blog posting! Please continue to join us in writing, sharing and discussing climate justice through poetry, whether through sharing something you've written yourself or a poem you find inspiring. Your comments will help inform the poetry reading and conversation night hosted by the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice on April 25th, 5:00-7:00 PM Pacific.

Here are two poems that were submitted to Commit2Respond by email that we would like to uplift:

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Faith Leaders Present Climate Change Petition to United Nations

On Monday, April 18, 2016, faith leaders convened at the Church Center for the UN to present the Interfaith Climate Change Statement with over 250 high level signatories, including The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hahn and UUA President Peter Morales.  In addition, over 5,500 individuals have signed on to the statement.

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Action Through Poetry (Climate Justice Month, Week 5)

Post your own poetry or poetic inspirations in the comment section below!


As we recognize Climate Justice Month,

we must also realize, in no small size,

that April is also National Poetry Month.


This is a time for justice seeking, deep thinking,

calls to action, and interfaith collaborations reaching

across the UU sphere, and our nation.


We must continue to come together to march,

to fight, to protest, showing our collective might

for the sake of the planet and not take it for granted.

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