The Global Center for Indigenous Leadership and Lifeways (GCILL) is an informal umbrella created to support short-term and long-term projects that educate and inform people about indigenous ways of knowing and wisdom for modern times—spirituality that raises human consciousness and harmonious relationship with Mother Earth. The focus of the GCILL has evolved over time first focusing on public speaking by sharing the message of wisdomkeepers (including the work of Ilarion “Larry” Merculieff), helping others and Mother Earth. They then focused on speaking engagements in order to help people create programs to discuss good dialogue surrounding difficult issues. They hope to become their own 501c3 non-profit organization.
Color of Change is a racial justice organization that help individuals effectively respond to injustice in the world around us. Color of Change was launched September 1, 2005 three weeks after Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast and the Bush administration’s failed response shocks the nation, James Rucker and Van Jones email roughly 1,000 friends asking them to pledge to make sure all Americans are represented, served, and protected–regardless of race or class.
“Environmental Racism” is a term coined in the 1980s by Benjamin Chavis, a civil rights activist. On February 18, 2016, Rev. Fletcher Harper, Rev. Lawrence Jennings and Rev. Dr. Melanie L. Harris gave a presentation: Flint, Environmental Racism and the Black Church, which talks about the history of environmental racism and religion, the Flint Michigan water crisis, and literature on African American Environmental History. The PDF presentation can be viewed here
Dr. Melanie L. Harris is Associate Professor of Religion at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX where she teaches and conducts research in the areas of Religious Social Ethics, African American Religion and Environmental Justice. Dr. Harris is a GreenFaith Fellow and co-director of Earth Honoring Faith with Ghost Ranch Education and Conference Center. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of KERATV/Radio in Dallas and facilitates contemplative retreats as a licensed Spiritual Director. Dr. Harris is the author of Gifts of Virtue: Alice Walker and Womanist Ethics (Palgrave) and coeditor of the volume Faith, Feminism, and Scholarship: The Next Generation (Palgrave) and editor of Ecowomanism: Earth Honoring Faiths (Brill). Learn more about Dr. Harris Here.
More on Melanie and the organizations she’s part of:
The Black Swamp Green Team is a collaboration of faith communities, advocacy groups, non-profit entities, and individuals engaged in promoting and practicing good creation care in Bowling Green, Ohio. This team has become a “Regional Partner” with Ohio IPL with a common mission to address climate change. To read more about the mission or how to become a regional partner, click here.
Tony is the director of Catholic Social Action of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He helped the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati form a network of climate change leaders. He inspired leaders by connecting their faith and climate solutions. Through a partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCA) 10 archdiocesan parishes, schools, and other facilities received over $290,000 in incentives to implement over $1.4 million in energy efficiency upgrades. Though Tony has had much success with climate change initiatives he still wants more people in the Archdiocese to make climate change a priority.
“We took climate change out of a political conversation and put it into a personal values conversation.” Click here to learn more about Tony and the work that he’s done.
Articles and Blogs on Tony:
To Go Forth Blog which is a blog of the United States Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development (JPHD).
Pictured above is a dual-purpose bicycle built by Dr. Ebenezer, courtesy of technologyforthepoor.com
Technology for the Poor is a non-profit, charitable organization started by the current president, Dr. Job Ebenezer. Based on the philosophy of George Washington Carver, their work strives to serve communities by providing them with sustainable technologies. These sustainable technologies include human powered energy systems, urban agriculture, and sustainable building technologies. Specific examples of their work includes a dual-purpose bicycle, wind energy generators, low-cost construction techniques, and container gardening. Dr. Ebenezer’s container gardens have made it much easier for urban buildings, such as churches and community buildings, to have their own gardens. To learn more about urban agriculture, click here. For more information on Technology for the Poor, click here.
The United Religions Initiative is a coalition with the purpose of promoting interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace and healing for the Earth and all living beings. Their program specific to solving ecological programs is called Cooperation Circles and it focuses on fixing these issues through cooperation instead of violence. Some of their work has included installing solar panels on the roofs of houses of worship, reforestation and native species planting, climate change awareness campaigns, and many more environmentally friendly campaigns. To read more on their work and check out their website, click here.
The National Religious Coalition on Creation Care is an organization that strives to meet four main goals: to hold conversations about the human responsibility to God and his creation, to provide a moral test for whether or not an action is right before God, to establish an easily communicated religious and spiritual basis for a just society, and to reveal a vision on how society must transform its attitude and become one with the ecosystem of the planet. They represent an array of religious denominations that are all united in certain principles concerning human responsibility toward God’s Creation. Their website includes resources for all lifestyles and perspectives that one may be searching for. To learn more, click here.