March is Climate Emergency Month in Kalamazoo
There has never been a more important time to join the climate action movement.
March is Climate Emergency Month in Kalamazoo
To help us better understand and address the global climate emergency, Western Michigan University Climate Change Working Group is declaring the month of March 2023 as Climate Emergency Month. The designation is supported by a wide range of campus and local organizations, including Hope for Creation.
During the month of March, events, speakers, discussions, and participatory opportunities will be available throughout the Kalamazoo community. Conversations will focus on the urgency of the crisis at global and local levels, on taking action, and ensuring justice. What is the climate emergency? Who will be impacted? How do we protect ourselves and reduce the threat to Earth’s ecosystems? How do we support those most at risk and vulnerable? What challenges are ahead of us?
An ever-growing calendar of events gives everyone plenty of ways to participate in Climate Emergency Month.
Hope for Creation has contributed to the effort by organizing a four-part series for congregational Green Teams, and we hope you’ll join us …
Analysis to Action: A Green Team Training Series
February 18 to March 18
Across Kalamazoo, congregational Green Teams are making meaningful change by reducing waste and energy use, installing solar panels and electric vehicle chargers, tending the soil around their buildings, and raising awareness of the impacts of climate change. How much more could we accomplish if we better understood roles and relationships in the work? Hope for Creation seeks to bring together local Green Team representatives – and anyone interested in faith-based environmental justice – to share successes and incorporate useful frameworks for effective and inclusive earth-care actions and advocacy.
Our four-part series is open to the public and designed to allow participation in one or more sessions. It is grounded in readings from two fundamental resources on creation care:
Cybelle Shattuck’s Faith, Hope, and Sustainability: The Greening of US Faith Communities
Leah Thomas’ The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet
While we encourage individuals to purchase one or both books at a local bookstore, participation is welcomed even without having read the books. For more information, visit Hope for Creation at www.hopeforcreation.net. All four sessions take place at St. Thomas More Catholic Parish Church, 421 Monroe Street, Kalamazoo (ample parking and close to the WMU campus).
Saturday, February 18, 3-4:30 PM:
What makes congregational earth-care programs successful in the long-term?
Learn from Cybelle Shattuck, WMU faculty and author of Faith, Hope, and Sustainability: The Greening of US Faith Communities, about the experiences of fifteen faith communities striving to care for the earth and live more sustainably. Explore how factors in four domains of activity—champions, faith leaders, congregations, and organizations—can support efforts to implement and sustain creation-care programs.
This session co-hosted by:
- Hope for Creation
- WMU Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
- St. Thomas More Catholic Parish Church
Thursday, March 2, 6:30-8 PM:
What are we missing by focusing exclusively on environmental sustainability?
Discuss the first two chapters of Leah Thomas’ The Intersectional Environmentalist, with KVCC instructor Claire McSwiney, who will lead a conversation about why congregational Green Teams would broaden their focus to include those who disproportionately bear the burden of environmental harm:
Chapter 1: Intersectional Theory, Feminism + Intersectional Environmentalism
Chapter 2: Environmental Justice: A Wider Lens
Thursday, March 9, 6:30-8 PM:
Why do we need to acknowledge disparity and broaden our collective attention to social and environmental justice?
Discuss Leah Thomas’ The Intersectional Environmentalist, chapters 3 & 4, with KVCC instructor Claire McSwiney, who will encourage us to acknowledge privilege, engage with those most affected, and move to right the environmental injustice in our community:
Chapter 3: Unpacking Privilege
Chapter 4: Who’s Affected: The Reality for BIPOC Communities
Saturday, March 18, 3-5 PM
Strategy Saturday: Moving Together Toward A Greener, Safer, and More Equitable Future for Everyone
How can we learn from each other’s histories and advocate together?
Consider how the wisdom of Leah Thomas’ The Intersectional Environmentalist, chapter 5: People + Planet, provides a foundation on which to build our shared work. This session will include time for participants to share their own stories and for local Green Teams to share their current and aspirational projects.
Whether you are an active member of a congregational Green Team, someone who aspires to launch collective action in your congregation or community, or anyone looking for a way to engage in this critical work, please join us for one or all of these important conversations. Our planet needs all of us, now!
With hope for Creation,
Joan Hawxhurst, Coordinator of Hope for Creation