Climate Justice and Environmentalism - Priorities in our UUAA Vision

Please check the UUAA calendar for upcoming Climate Crisis Action meetings. 

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The Climate Crisis Action Team is on the front lines of fulfilling the goals described in A Congregational Vision, the document that evolved from our nearly 2 year congregational visioning project.

The existential issue for our times is climate change. We are called to respond, with a religious perspective, to the broad-reaching social justice issues that climate change creates in our community and our world. As a faith-based community, we are uniquely positioned to take on a role as a religious voice in a complex issue with competing values.

UUAA wants to be an example of sustainable living in right relationship with the natural world. We want to learn together. We want to further build on our past renewable energy projects to reach carbon neutrality. We want to broaden our view of climate action to include justice for vulnerable communities most effected by climate change.

GS LogoGreen Sanctuary 2030

To help us evaluate and take action on opportunities to lower our carbon footprint, build sustainability, partner with local climate justice groups, and learn from and alongside other UU congregations, in April, 2021, we joined the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA) Green Sanctuary 2030 certification program.

The entire UUAA congregation is invited and encouraged to take part in our Green Sanctuary program -- at whatever level of involvement works for you. We hope to have short term and long term activities for all ages available in the coming months.

Green Sanctuary 2030 Mission

Green Sanctuary provides structure, leadership and support, in broad collaboration, for the UU faith community to engage in an ambitious environmental and climate justice movement that seeks to live fully our seventh (and eighth) principles and achieve our vision of a sustainable and just world for all.

Watch for more information on Green Sanctuary.


 Collaboration with the U-M Graham Sustainability Institute

A team of University of Michigan students led a project for UUAA to look for ways to achieve carbon neutrality, focusing on the building, and internal processes. The team collaborated with six UUAA members, staff, and ministry group leaders, including Ed Lynn, Jeannine LaPrad, Colleen Crawley, Don Hackney, and Dave Friedrichs. Elizabeth LaPorte facilitated the project as part of the U-M Graham Sustainability Scholars Program, which she manages.

The report is complete and under review. More information will be coming soon.

 GrahamInternEdsTourU-M Graham Scholar Zoe Bultman (2020 Summer Intern), on a tour of UUAA with Ed Lynn in May 2020. Zoe led a team of U-M students who focused on how UUAA can work towards becoming carbon neutral.


Earth Day Events Banner

Earth Day 2021 – Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth (UUMFE) Recommended Events

Earth Day is a holy day for many UU congregations, and UUMFE is a good source for Earth Day resources for worship, education, and action. Follow this link for a list of UU recommended offerings.

 

Project Drawdown Initiative 2021 – Through June 15, 2021

As part of GS 2030, UUs are taking collective action as part of the UU Project Drawdown Initiative 2021 (UU DD 2021) from now through June. It’s “Game On!” not “game over” for climate justice -- and UU Drawdown 2021 is an easy and fun challenge for individuals and communities to put UU values into action. You can JOIN the all-UU DD 2021 team today as an individual (you can apply your actions to a team later if you want) and start tracking your science-based and solution-driven actions. Many actions align with UU programs and strategies to Create Climate Justice. For example, attending this weekend’s Intergenerational Spring Seminar All In for Food Justice is a qualifying action.   The story of UU DD 2021 will be featured at this year’s UUA General Assembly as the workshop Drawing Communities Together for Climate Action & Justice. UUs will be joining the 5,700 Drawdown participants to prove that everyday actions can make a huge impact.

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light's: Honoring Earth Day – Food, Faith, and Climate Action!

The caucus on Consumption, Waste & the Climate Crisis of the Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice invites you to participate in the Food, Faith, and Climate effort of Interfaith Power and Light to honor Earth Day.  They selected a few topics and activities for action—choose what interests you most.

 Sierra Club Michigan Chapter – Earth Day 2021 Celebration

The Sierra Club Michigan Chapter is celebrating Earth Day 2021 all month long with hosting a series of virtual webinars focused on the idea of Building Back Better and Restoring our Earth,   Earth Month 2021! Restoring Michigan: Legislative Priorities to Build Michigan Back Better The next webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 216:00 – 7:00pm, Hosted by Sierra Club, Detroit's Green Door Initiative (GDI), and Mom's Clean Air Force. With Senators Stephanie Chang and Rosemary Bayer. They’re also encouraging all Michigan residents to explore the great outdoors this month (while being safe and social distancing) and enjoy the natural wonders our state is home to. Use their Virtual Bingo Sheet this month to track your adventures and participation and if you get a BINGO, you will be entered to win some Sierra Club Earth Day swag! 

 

 


For a bit of inspiration, enjoy this video of Amanda Gorman reading her poem, Earthrise.

 


A Sample of the Climate Crisis Action Team's Past Programming

 

Healing and Protecting the Great Lakes

On November 21, 2019, the UUAA Climate Crisis Action group sponsored a forum to raise awareness about the ways in which climate change is affecting the Great Lakes and what we can do as residents of Michigan to help heal and protect them. The forum was organized by two concerned citizens who were asking the question, as the climate crisis deepens, what could we possibly do to heal and protect our earth?  In the words of Dorothy Ann Coyne, one of the lead organizers, “it has been said  that it is best if we simply bloom where we are planted, and we are planted where 20% of the world's fresh water is held. Here in Michigan we find ourselves inextricably linked to this treasure on Earth and we're being called to help heal and protect. It seems inevitable that the world-wide water crisis, which is already huge, will only increase with the changing climate conditions. As we explore and enjoy each Great Lake, we must keep in mind the many ways they are threatened.”  Andy Buchsbaum, a leader with the National Wildlife Federation, graciously shared what he's learned through his work with others as the co-founder and co-chair of the Healing Our Waters coalition.  Through this collaborative effort, Andy helped to secure an unprecedented $1.6 billion in federal funding for Great Lakes restoration and establish new state and federal laws to protect Great Lakes water supplies.

A video of the event and links to other resources are here  

A summary report of the event can be found here

This event was sponsored by the UUAA Climate Crisis Action group as part of a commitment to engage congregants and members of the broader community in learning and action that promote peace, justice, and positive environmental action locally and beyond.

 


 

Our Climate Crisis Action Group was one of the sponsors of the September 20th, 2019 Global Climate Strike rally in Ann Arbor.

2019ClimateStrike webSome of the many UUAA members and friends who attended the Ann Arbor Global Climate Strike rally.

 


Climate Café

On June 10, 2018, the Climate Action Group hosted a Climate Café, discussing the question:

How can we build an urgency-focused climate action program that will thrive, be sustainable and reflect our UU Principles?

The ideas generated in group discussions ranged from specific “what to do” both within UUAA and within the greater Ann Arbor area to thoughts on “how to do”. Read the Summary Report from the Climate Café.

 


 

The video below shows the December 12, 2015 Michigan Climate March at the University of Michigan where our then Senior Minister, Rev. Gail Geisenhainer spoke:

 

 

The Climate Crisis Action Team has a relationship with the Ann Arbor Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. Citizens Climate Lobby focuses on generating popular support for a carbon fee and carbon dividend, in which a fee would be placed on CO2-generating fossil fuels at the wellhead, mine, or point of import. The resulting collection would be distributed to the American people. The goal is to provide an economic foundation to promote reduced CO2 generation and development of sustainable energy sources.