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Building People's Coalitions (Climate Justice Month, Week 4)

by Paula Cole Jones, Racial & Social Justice Consultant, Joseph Priestley District in the Central Eastern Region, UUA

As we face the erosion of democracy and people’s rights in this country, our principles call us to take part in building an enduring people’s movement for justice. 

This is Week Four of Climate Justice Month and soon we will celebrate Earth Day 2016.  This week’s actions are to show up for democracy and to learn more about building sustainable, winning people’s coalitions.  Climate Justice depends on our ability to act justly together: building connections between people, issues, groups and organizations to create a truly representative and sustainable democracy.

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Growing a Green Sanctuary Movement (Climate Justice Month, Week 3)

Twenty-five years ago a group of Unitarian Universalist leaders had a vision of our congregations living our values of interconnectedness and respect for the web of life. They formed the Seventh Principle Project, and in 1991 the Green Sanctuary Program was born, a program I am honored to manage today.

We’ve come a long way since then. Over 250 Accredited congregations and six revisions to the program later, I want you to know what Green Sanctuary is becoming. 

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Action Alert: Democracy Spring & Democracy Awakening

By Lavona Grow, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice in the National Capital Region

democracy_awakening_fist.jpg.pngI hope you saw the powerful message from my friend and fellow Commit2Respond leader Irene Keim on Tuesday. If so, you know that one of the major actions of Climate Justice Month is reclaiming our democracy. As the chair of Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice in the National Capital Region (UUSJ), I’m helping to organize UU involvement in Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening—will you join me?

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Reclaim our Democracy from Big Oil (Climate Justice Month, Week 2)

By Irene Keim, Commit2Respond & Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth 

Welcome to the second week of Climate Justice Month 2016!

“This is the first time in the history of the Earth that a generation of people has held the fate of the earth in our hands.” —Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell, 2016 UUMFE Earth Day Sermon

What a powerful statement of our tasks at hand. Rev. Sewell’s words are deeply personal to me, because my home state Florida is already grappling with the impacts of sea level rise and extreme weather events. We know that parts of the state will be under water in the coming decades, and still our policymakers refuse to listen to the voters and act. Our democracy is broken.

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The Poisoning of an American City: A Poem

By Christopher D. Sims, DRUUMM, UU Environmental Justice Collaboratory, & Commit2Respond

As I walked through the Cleveland Heights Library and made my way to the magazine section, “The Poisoning Of An American City” on the cover of Time Magazine instantly caught my attention.

I knew what was going on. I had seen footage on the news of what happened right here on American soil. How could it happen? How could a governor allow this to happen to his own constituents? Aren’t the mostly black citizens of Flint, MI people too?

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World Water Day: A Love and Liberation Prayer (Climate Justice Month, Week 1)

By Aly Tharp, Commit2Respond & Unitarian Universalist Young Adults for Climate Justice

Blessings and greetings on World Water Day and this beginning of Climate Justice Month 2016! 

I write to you from an altar in the Radical Arts and Healing Space warehouse in New Orleans, Louisiana—by the time you read this, it will be 24 hours until the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management holds a lease sale for up to 43 million mineral acres to the oil and gas industry for fossil fuel extraction in the Gulf of Mexico. 

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Get Ready: The Action Starts One Week from Today

Are you ready to take action? Climate Justice Month starts in seven days, kicking off with World Water Day on March 22!

Every week of Climate Justice Month, you’ll receive an email that lifts up a featured action, a featured resource for education, and a featured inspiration.

Want additional actions and resources throughout the month? Level up: RSVP for the special Climate Justice Month email and action list. You can also stay tuned to the Commit2Respond Facebook page and Twitter handle throughout the month, or use and follow the hashtag #commit2respond.

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Climate Justice Month is Back!

Over the last few months, Unitarian Universalists have been witnessing for climate justice from Paris to the Pacific Northwest to Washington, DC. Now people of faith and conscience have a chance to collectively take the momentum for climate justice to the next level, with the second Climate Justice Month!

From World Water Day (March 22) to Earth Day (April 22), we will build resistance to climate change and add our moral voices to the movement for climate justice, taking action in our families, communities, and congregations or faith groups.

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Statement on Supreme Court's Decision to Stay the Clean Power Plan

On February 9, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. Announced in August 2015, the plan is designed to create a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels within the power sector (primarily coal-fired plants) by 2030. States must comply by 2022, and the first deadline for individual plans (September 2016) is now delayed by the stay. The National Catholic Reporter details the implications of the stay and the potential impacts of Justice Antonin Scalia's death just four days after the decision.

This Monday, February 15, a coalition of religious organizations, including the Unitarian Universalist Association and Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth, sent the following letter to Congress and the Administration on the Supreme Court's decision to stay the Clean Power Plan. 

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Decolonizing Our Work for Justice

By Hannah Hafter, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

“Whose land do you live on?” 

It’s an uncomfortable question for those of us known as “settlers,” and one that we do not regularly have to face. Last year, as part of the UU College of Social Justice’s “Solidarity with Original Nations and Peoples” program, I had gone in considering myself someone whose eyes were open to the injustices done to the original peoples of the United States. As I stood on the rocky shorefront of the Salish Sea, listening to Lummi organizer Freddie Lane explain the history of this sacred site under threat, I realized that my knowledge barely scratched the surface. 

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