2017 Eco-Justice Workshops

Climate Justice Simulation Experience

This new role-playing exercise helps us understand some of the concerns of an environmentally degraded community.

The climate justice simulation experience is based on real situations faced by three U.S. communities in their struggles to contend with and organize around environmental injustices. Through the course of the role-playing simulation, participants will:

1. Gain knowledge about the local conditions that aggravate climate change.
2. Move toward more informed advocacy in solidarity with local communities.
3. Be introduced to the work of three community organizations addressing these particular climate justice issues.

Description of the Zones: The simulation includes three zones. Each zone represents one community. The Industrial Zone depicts an urban neighborhood that is dealing with the effects of many toxin-producing plants. The Indigenous Zone describes a Native American community that is facing the results of resource extraction. The Mountaintop Removal Zone portrays a community in Appalachia that is experiencing the negative health and environmental impacts of mountaintop removal. You may use one zone only or all three zones.

Community Driven Development I: Building Just, Equitable, and Sustainable Communities

Urban and rural communities across the country struggling with under-employment, rapid gentrification and/or environmental injustices are experimenting with creative strategies for development that can create jobs, protect creation, and build peace.
Through organizing, advocacy, and self-determination, communities of color and low-income communities are transforming systems to ensure healthy food, sustainable housing, worker-owned co-ops, clean energy, and a healthy environment to play and pray. Hear examples from Washington, D.C. and Appalachia of both the challenges and successes of these initiatives. Learn how your faith community could start or partner with a similar effort in your own community.
Brandy Brooks, Dreaming Out Loud, Kari Fulton, Empower DC, Representative from Cooperation D.C.

Moderator, Marianne Comfort, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas


A Landscape for Change: Creating & Sustaining Eco-Justice Ministries in Local Congregations and Communities

Sponsored by The Carver Project

Join us as we tackle this guiding question: How to develop a local eco-justice ministry?

This workshop will provide tools, strategies, skills and connections for church and community leaders to create eco-justice ministries. The session is designed to be conversational and interactive. Divided in groups, participants will address a specific question on how they may create a landscape for justice within various ministry and community contexts. This will be accomplished by facilitating three (3) different table discussions around the following focus questions:

1. How might we green our local congregation?
2. What are the ways we may create and sustain partnerships around environmental justice?
3. In what ways may we plug into social change movements (faith and otherwise) to support broader systems change?

Workshop Leaders
The Rev. Drew Giddings, Project Leader, The Carver Project
The Rev. Dawrell Rich, PhD student, Drew University – School of Theology & Senior Fellow, The Carver Project


More than Water: Lessons from Standing Rock

This workshop will lift up key issues of racism, corporate power, and militarism in the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline against the will of the Standing Rock Nation and the allied water protectors defending the Missouri River. This dynamic workshop will provide a brief background about the #NoDAPL campaign and offer a timely update of related advocacy actions. Native Americans and clergy active in this movement will share insights. With a lens toward matters of race, environment, and the militarized response of law enforcement, the workshop will delve into the deeper lessons to be learned from this historic, international, and indigenous-led movement. The workshop will also stimulate provocative questions for reflection related to other communities in considering climate justice advocacy today.


Environmental Justice: Transforming from a Thing-Oriented to Person-Oriented Society

Since the United States was colonized and established, commoditization of land and people has profoundly harmed our relationship with God’s creation and one another. In this workshop, our panel will critically examine the ideological origins of our thing-oriented society and our modern concepts of property. We will look at the Doctrine of Discovery, Manifest Destiny, and the slave trade. We will also examine how patterns of greed and racism play out in local communities fighting environmental injustice. We will conclude with a group discussion to explore Christian faith-rooted pathways for moving beyond a society shaped by what Dr. King. called “extreme materialism.” All participants in this workshop will receive a copy of Creation Justice Ministries’ 2017 Christian education resource “Environmental Justice with Indigenous Peoples.”


Reaching Our Paris Climate Goals Without National Government Leadership

With an Administration and Congress hostile to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, it is incumbent on all of us to engage at the local and state levels to still reach our goals. Learn about innovative work happening across the country, and how you can get involved.