By the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office and the Unitarian Universalist delegation to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (or COP21)
Climate change has become a huge focus in the last couple years, politically and socially. Some of us have been working on it much longer, but it’s inspiring to see the commitment spread to more people and gather more support.
Even Beyoncé is involved, having starred in the Global Citizen’s Festival in New York City last summer, which highlighted the effect we all can have on the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This momentum is not without cause, as this past December, the United Nations hosted the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Paris, France.
By Rev. Peggy Clarke
The Paris Agreement is a success. Is it perfect? No. But it’s good. Some will point only to its limits, failures, and deficiencies. Not me. I was there to witness much of the process, and given all the challenges, it’s better than I ever could have hoped.
The Good: This is the first time every nation on the planet has come to an agreement.
Although agreement looked less and less likely after the first week, it came together. As I understand UN process, finding common ground is rare. At COP21, the common ground was a shared sense of desperation, and desire to hope for a future generation. (After the document was finished, the Prime Minister of the Marshall Islands called home and his grandson said, “Do we have to move?” He replied, “Maybe, but not today.”)
Today Pope Francis arrives in the United States, and people of faith have kicked off a Week of Moral Action for Climate Justice to coincide with the Pope's six-day visit. Unitarian Universalists and thousands of other people of faith and conscience are joining the Franciscan Action Network and Moral Action on Climate in witnessing in solidarity with Pope Francis's moral position on climate change.
On Monday August 31, a 20-foot tall, 3,000-pound totem pole reached the end of its nearly 1,300-mile journey from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Otter Creek Valley in Montana, home of the Northern Cheyenne and site of a proposed coal mine.
The totem pole was hard carved by Master Carver Jewell Praying Wolf James and other members of the Lummi House of Tears Carvers. This, the third such journey in as many years, was designed to raise awareness of the environmental devastation faced by Indigenous peoples as a result of the transport of fossil fuels. It was also designed to foster new relationships and empower resistance—among different Indigenous peoples and also among different people of faith.
If you believe in the power of younger generations to change the world, you’ll be deeply inspired by what transpired in Chicago this August. For four days, twenty-one young adult activists from across North America gathered to gain skills, practices, spiritual grounding, and relationships to equip them for long-haul climate justice work. Their time together was called GROW: Grounded and Resilient Organizer’s Workshop, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice and funded by you!
When we join our efforts together in new ways, incredible things happen!
Commit2Respond was formed a year ago in recognition of the fact that Unitarian Universalists and like-hearted people of faith and conscience care deeply about our world and are putting faith into action wherever we are—and if we join together in new ways, we can amplify our efforts and our impact.
By Aly Tharp, Benjamin Franklin Craft-Rendon, Elizabeth Mount, and Jason Faulk
Today, we four Unitarian Universalist Young Adults for Climate Justice (UUYACJ) members will begin making our way across the Gulf Coast to St. Augustine, Florida, to stand in solidarity with the Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal Peoples and other allies in the Resist 450 Coalition.
From September 5-9 we will join other activists in peacefully demonstrating against St. Augustine's 450th Anniversary Celebration of the arrival of Spanish colonizers, including a historical reenactment of the landing of Spanish colonizer Pedro Menéndez de Aviles.
People of faith and conscience are gearing up for a Week of Moral Action for Climate Justice during Pope Francis’s visit to Washington, DC, September 22-24, and Unitarian Universalists are right in the thick of it, organized by Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice in the National Capital Region!
Commit2Respond's Steering Committee welcomes five new members this summer!
The Steering Committee is made up of representatives of the nine organizations leading Commit2Respond (find out more about the leadership of Commit2Respond, including returning Steering Committee members).
We are excited to welcome the following newest members:
What do #BlackLivesMatter and environmental justice have to do with each other? Everything.
When Katrina—a Category 5 hurricane that's part of the pattern of more frequent and severe weather events predicted by leading climatologists due to global warming—made landfall on August 29, 2005, the impact was beyond devastating. But it was not felt equally by everyone in the storm’s path.
The neighborhoods hit hardest, the people who were unable to evacuate, the horrifyingly inadequate federal response, the media coverage of the survivors, and the rebuilding efforts all point to the fact that all lives did not and do not matter to our government or to the media. Poor people, disproportionately African American people, bore the greatest impacts of the storm.