Environmental Justice

Film Screening – Date TBA

Cooked: Survival By Zipcode

See trailer here. 

In Helfand’s signature serious-yet-quirky connect-the-dots style, COOKED: Survival by Zip Code takes audiences from the deadly 1995 Chicago heat disaster – in which 739 people died, mostly black and in the poorest neighborhoods of the city, and ties it back to the underlying man made disaster of systemic structural racism and then goes deep into one of our nation’s biggest growth industries – Disaster Preparedness. Along the way she forges inextricable links between extreme weather, extreme wealth disparity and the politics of “disaster,” daring to ask: What if with a slight torque of the system and a reframe of the terms disaster, preparedness and resilience we could invest in the most “vulnerable communities” now – instead of waiting for the next “natural disaster”?

After Rev Ana’s December 2nd sermon, The Second Best Time to Plant a Tree, many congregants expressed that they felt moved to take action to transform our society and heal our earth. Here are some concrete suggestions for action steps, some with a political/ economic focus, some with a spiritual/ cultural focus: 

Political and Economic Activism

Help build the movement to halt all violence against our ecosystems and fight for renewable energy. This approach is politically and economically focused – activism, lobbying, corporate boycotts, nonviolent direct action, and civil disobedience. Ways to get involved:

  • Kickoff gathering at First U, Brooklyn, Sunday, December 16 at 12:45: Explore how you, with the First U community, can amplify the power and extend the reach of environmental activism in NYC. Jeff Levy-Lyons (with the People’s Climate Movement) will offer a brief overview of current campaigns and opportunities locally and nationally.
  • Join Extinction Rebellion – or Greenpeace and take bold action.
  • Commit to making a phone call, writing a letter, or participating in an action every week. Rev. Ana’s Action for the Next Seven Generations offers a suggestion in each issue of the e-news.
  • Make a financial gift to an environmental advocacy organization like the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, or the Environmental Defense Fund. 

Spiritual and Cultural Activism

Help build the movement to “live the change.” This approach is spiritually and culturally focused – cultivating life-sustaining systems and practices; helping promote a shift in consciousness, perception, thinking and values. Ways to get involved:

  • Take Greenfaith’s three-fold pledge: Significantly lessen your home energy use; dramatically reduce your meat and dairy consumption; conscientiously minimize your car and air travel.
  • Host meal gatherings with friends to talk about the spiritual and ethical dimensions of our consumer practices, changing our relationship with the earth and one another.
  • Begin a small-scale sustainability project in your local community – could your building begin collecting compost? Could your children’s school use reuseable dishware for class parties? Could you start or support a community garden? A CSA?
  • Start a book group on ecological-political consciousness. Suggestions: Active Hope by Joanna Macy, This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, Laudato Si (the second encyclical of Pope Francis), No Other Gods by Ana Levy-Lyons.
  • Make a financial gift to an organization promoting culture change and environment as a religious concern, such as Greenfaith, The Center for Earth Ethics, Climate Reality Project, or First U Brooklyn
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