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.

Climate Justice Month in Numbers

We came together from six different countries and 46 states. We reached more than 85,000 people on social media. Almost 60% of us made new commitments to climate justice. And we raised tens of thousands of dollars for young adult climate justice activism and communities in California and Kenya that need help protecting their human right to water. Check out the infographic for more! 

Highlights from Faith Communities

Faith groups of all sorts got in on the Climate Justice Month action in a hundred different ways!

Throop Unitarian Universalist Church of Pasadena, California, partnered with a local sustainability organization to create a four-week series of workshops and run a joint eco-spirituality group that tied into four worship services focused on climate change, environmental justice, and “active hope.” Learn more.

Sun Mountain Sangha of Colorado Springs, Colorado, participated in a monthly Climate Watch to reflect on their part in contributing to climate change and to gain insight about how to convince their elected officials to decommission the aging coal-fired power plant near downtown.

Star Island, a liberal religious conference and retreat center, hosted an Earth Day event that highlighted their new solar array and sustainability efforts. They also produced a new web page that shares what they are doing on the island, and how anyone can take those examples and practice them on the mainland.

The Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo, California, joined Commit2Respond just in time for Climate Justice Month and launched their effort by going on a Low Carbon Diet. They now come together once a month to weigh-in their CO2 pounds and plan ways to reduce and support one another in their efforts.

Emerson UU Church in Houston, Texas, read This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein as a group, worked up a proposal to have the congregation purchase carbon offsets to become carbon neutral, held a letter-to-the-editor party against Arctic drilling, and instituted a Healthy Eating training series.

The UU Fellowship of Corvallis, Oregon, created a booklet for Climate Justice Month that includes resources, readings, activities, and more to help members and friends reflect and take action.

And many Unitarian Universalist state advocacy networks also got in on the action. For example, the UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland spent Climate Justice Month lobbying the Maryland legislature against fracking and for clean energy, and UU Justice Florida teamed up with the Florida Council of Churches to hold an interfaith conference on climate change.

Want even more inspiring stories? Check out the great Earth Day-specific highlights from UU Ministry from Earth, and share what you and/or your faith group did using the Commit2Respond share forum.

What’s Next

Thank you to the hundreds of you who took the Climate Justice Month follow-up survey and shared what you thought Commit2Respond should prioritize next—this is your movement and Commit2Respond is led by all of us. You said the three most important things are:

  1. Opportunities for collective action
  2. Connections to local partnerships and action
  3. Legislative/political advocacy opportunities

So 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 livestream.

During this reverent, spiritual event we will witness for the rights of First Nations and American Indian peoples and other frontline 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. In the process, we will share new opportunities for partnership and solidarity with frontlines peoples around North America.

At the same time, other leaders within Commit2Respond are working on opportunities for action and advocacy leading up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Learn more about all of the events coming up, and add your own, on the new Events page on the Commit2Respond website!

Thank you again for being a part of the first ever Climate Justice Month, and thank you for committing to respond.

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  • commented 2015-05-29 17:46:13 -0400
    This is very encouraging when I see all our actions added up. When it’s just me, or just my church, it seems so small, but I feel hopeful seeing what we’ve all done together.