2011 Eco-Justice Workshops

When celebrating Holy Communion we are reminded that as Christians we are part of Body of Christ, one family in which all are related at the Lord’s Table.  As equal members of this family, God desires for all to have access to safe homes, nutritious food, and a fruitful life. Modern notions of “development” have largely been tied to conveniences provided by industry. Yet, many modern conveniences come at hidden costs: toxic chemicals in our land, air, water, and yes, even our bodies. As if that were not enough, there is also the cost of greenhouse gasses that contribute to a changing climate. Gender plays a role in who most bears what burdens and pays what hidden costs. Women also have an important role in re-defining development in a way that honors all of God’s Creation and reaffirms our covenant as stewards of God’s earth. Join us to explore faith perspectives on healthy practices and advocacy steps that can contribute to wholeness of all God’s Creation.

Workshops Organizer: Shantha Ready-Alonso, Eco-Justice Fellow, Eco-Justice Ministries, National Council of Churches in Christ


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Women, Agriculture, Climate, and Food Sovereignty
(Co-Sponsored with the Economic Justice track)

Food sovereignty, the right of people to manage and benefit from their own food and agricultural systems, is the rallying call for the largest global movement we have witnessed in years. Most of the world’s billion hungry people are women, children, and farmers. Women’s role is central in agriculture as well as the food system changes we need. Join us to learn from different parts of the world about how particular farming methods impact climate and ecological balance. Hear about movements that link global and local struggles against rising food prices, and how people of faith are supporting sustainable alternatives.


  • Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Pesticide Action Network North America
  • Maria Aguilar, Grassroots International

Moderator: Andrew Kang Bartlett, Presbyterian Hunger Program.


Healthy Ageing for the Whole Body of Christ

We are living longer, yet chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, cancer, heart disease, and type II diabetes are on the rise. Come learn how to keep environmental contributors to these diseases at bay, how gender influences their impacts, and how we as people of faith can alleviate our own and others’ suffering. This interactive workshop will include theological study, small group discussions, and practical tips for healthy aging – including diet, consumer purchases, and exercise.

Facilitator: Chloe Schwabe, National Council of Churches


The Role of Gender in Climate-Displaced Communities

Climate change is devastating lands that families have called home for generations. Severe weather patterns, rising sea levels, and droughts are disrupting the way communities live on the land. What role does gender play in the way these communities move and adapt? Join us for a time of testimony and a call to action.


  • Tonya Rawe, CARE International
  • Jasmine Huggins, Church World Service

Cleanliness is Godliness? Dirty Secrets About Everyday Cosmetics and Cleaning Supplies

Come on a journey through your medicine cabinet and cleaning supply bin. Find out what toxic hazards may lurk in your products – and their disproportionate impacts on women. Learn some tried and true safer alternatives for your family, and mix up some home-made products yourself. Advocate for government reform of toxic chemical safety testing and regulation.

Speaker: Rachel Birkhahn-Rommelfanger, National Council of Churches


“Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment.”

Tune in for this acclaimed and ground-breaking film by Quaker biologist and cancer survivor Dr. Sandra Steingraber, followed by an interactive discussion. Much of Dr. Steingraber’s research relates to chemical impacts on women and girls.

Facilitator: Michele L. Roberts, Environmental Human Rights; Shantha Ready Alonso, National Council of Churches


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reproductive Health: Development and Security Start in the Womb

This workshop will raise consciousness about impacts of environmental pollution on mothers, children, and fathers. From pesticides to industrial toxic landfills, all people are impacted, but expecting mothers, children, low income and communities of color bear unjust and heavy burdens where they work, play and pray.


  • Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, Children’s Environmental Health Network
  • Chloe Schwabe, National Council of Churches

Contributing Sponsors & Partner Organizations