The Original Nations of Great Turtle Island (typically called “the Americas”) have contributed much to the world, but are seldom publicly recognized by major educational institutions as having done so. Nor are they often recognized as models of ecological sustainability. Yet reverence and passion for thousands of years the earth and its web of life was the primary focus and way of life of all Original Nations and Peoples in North, Central, and South America, and this was a direct result of their values and worldviews.
It is a joy to announce that Unitarian Universalist Young Adults for Climate Justice is joining Commit2Respond as a collaborating organization. Leaders of our network have long been collaborating for the campaign through developing programs for action, resources for Climate Justice Month, and more.
UU Young Adults for Climate Justice is an organization sponsored by the UU Ministry for Earth, and was founded in 2012. Our staff Network Coordinator, Aly Tharp, will be representing us on the Commit2Respond Steering Committee.
On Saturday June 27 at 4:45pm Pacific, across North America and beyond, we will bear witness.
During the first-ever Climate Justice Month we were spiritually renewed and grounded and we committed ourselves to new action. Now we have a chance to witness on the side of love with front-lines First Nations and American Indian partners.
What’s next for Commit2Respond is a big chance for collective action: “A Sacred Public Witness,” an event in Portland, Oregon, on June 27 that will be attended by thousands of Unitarian Universalists and others and also accessible to all by live stream.
Together we will witness for the rights of First Nations and American Indian peoples and other front-line communities, and bring our moral voice to the struggle against the fossil fuels industry’s plan to decimate ecosystems and Native sacred lands throughout the Pacific Northwest.
A powerful training opportunity is coming to the Midwest: Justice in the Food Chain: Training for Organizers and Activists, September 25-27, Chicago, IL
Ralph Solomon shows the group a geoduck during a tour of the Lummi Shellfish Hatchery.
From April 25–May 2, 2015, the UU College of Social Justice ran our first program focused on “Solidarity with Original Nations and Peoples” based in Bellingham, WA. Our group of 16 people from across the country learned about the history and current impacts of U.S. settler colonialism on this land’s original peoples, and the specific struggle of the Lummi Nation in Northwest Washington to protect Cherry Point, a sacred site threatened by a proposed coal terminal. If the terminal is approved, ships carrying over 48 million metric tons of coal to Asia annually would traverse the fragile Salish Sea and interfere with Lummi treaty fishing rights.
Over the past months, Commit2Respond and Climate Justice Month have been a major focus of the Environmental Justice Collaboratory, with Collaboratory members contributing vital leadership on the Steering Committee and many of the planning teams (learn more about the leadership of Commit2Respond).
What an incredible first Climate Justice Month we had!
Individuals, families, faith groups, congregations, and organizations all joined in for a month of spiritual reflection, activities to deepen our connections with each other and the Earth, and discernment in terms of new commitments we can make to shift to a low carbon future, advance human rights, and grow the climate justice movement.
We at Throop Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, California, voted to become an endorsing organization for Commit2Respond just before the start of Climate Justice Month.
We are being known as “The Permaculture Church” in Pasadena, and part of our vision for ourselves is being known as the church working on sustainability (and spirit and arts). In 2012 we started a permaculture Learning Garden and our most recent effort is to set up a rainwater catchment system.
This Memorial Day we mourn all those who have given their lives in United States wars. We particularly mourn those lives sacrificed in wars motivated by natural resources. As resources become more scarce, such wars will only worsen. We commit to working for a world where no one dies for oil, or water, or land, where the Earth's sacred resources are cherished and shared. May it be so.