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Events Around the Cluster Calendar

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Climate Changed:
  Building Interfaith Power

Hosted by the North Texas Unitarian Universalist Congregations (NTUUC)

Saturday, March 5th, 2016
8:30am to 4:30pm

Dallas Recreation Center
(“E” Building at the MLK Community Center)
2901 Pennsylvania Ave, Dallas, TX 75201

 

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interfaith workshop flyer

Our Speakers

Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy and
a leader in the Gulf Future Coalition and the Gulf South Rising movement
Yaira Robinson, Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy
Rev. Eugene Keahey, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Sandbranch
and
Hurricane Katrina survivors and disaster-responders

 

Event Photos & Videos

 

 

The Program

Join us for an experiential, interfaith conference focused on deepening our relationships and commitments to organizing for social justice in the struggles against racism, climate change and escalating inequality.

This is a full-day workshop that will bring together a group of compassionate people of faith focused on healing this Earth and making positive social change in our communities. Our many diverse faiths and cultural traditions will serve as bedrocks for powerful moments of learning and community organizing.

We will hear first-hand perspectives from North Texas’ Hurricane Katrina survivors and disaster-responders, as well as a kick-off presention on the underpinnings of “climate justice” from New Orleans-based attorney Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy and a leader in the Gulf Future Coalition and the Gulf South Rising movement.

Registration will be capped at one hundred participants. We will learn about the intersection of environmental and social struggles - related to water, food and agriculture, economic justice, and racial equity - through the stories and lessons of our North Texas neighbors.  Come learn how people of faith can mobilize through policy and grassroots action with the help of experts such as Yaira Robinson and Rev. Sam Brannon from the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

This workshop was supported by the John E. Johnson Fund for Social Justice.

Program Schedule

8:30 AM



Breakfast & Registration

Hot Oatmeal Bar w/fixin's, Yogurt Bar, w/toppings, Fresh fruit, Bagels
Catered by Sweet Moses Brands, Inc. (Visit their website)

9:00 AM

Welcoming and Introductions

9:40 AM




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas’ Climate Change Outlook:What does the science say?


Yaira Robinson, Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Texas Interfaith Power and Light

(Congregation Agudas Achim, Jewish)

 

 Yaira Robinson participated in the conference via video:

Loading the player...


 

10:00 AM




Colette Pichon Battle Keynote Speech: What is Climate Justice?

Colette Pichon Battle, Esq., Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Law and Policy Center,

Organizer for Gulf South Rising (Catholic)

Colette has agreed to share her presentation:

 

/22

 

 

10:45 AM

15-Minute Break

11:00 AM










Learning from Our Past: Stories from Hurricane Katrina & North Texas' Response
Fishbowl conversation & small-group follow-up discussion:

Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. (Catholic)

Ada Simmons, elder and leader of the Katrina Survivors Network and Dallas Area Interfaith (First Presbyterian Church of McKinney)

Cherelle Blazer, Organizing Representative, Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign (Ile Omo Ifa Wale)

and Others

 

12:00 PM

Debriefing in small group conversation

12:30 PM
























Lunch

Greek Pita Bar- Pita Bread,Grilled Veggies, Mediterranean Chicken, Lemon-Basil Rice, Kale Salad, & toppings bar; Catered by Sweet Moses Brands, Inc. (Visit their Webiste)

Lunch Conversation Tables (main area of focus):

  • Barnett Shale Basin Community - Arlington, Midcities, Ft. Worth, Denton and Westward
    (local)

    Facilitator:
    Daniel Melendez - Event Lay Chaplain, Member of Liveable Arlington (Vice President, Pathways UU Church)
  • The “Nuclear Option”
    (state, national)

    Facilitator: Mavis Belisle - Dallas Peace & Justice Center Nuclear Free World Committee
    Chairperson (UU Church of Oak Cliff)
  • Facing the Community Impacts of Systemic Violence
    (local and global)

    Facilitators:
    Minister Dominique Alexander - Founder and President, Next Generation Action Network
    (Non-Denominational Christian)
    Valley Reed - Executive Director, Kolo: Women’s Cross-Cultural Collaborations,
    Owner and Director of Chrysalis Healing Arts (Earth-Based, Dream-Based & Shamanic Spiritual Practice)
1:30 PM



Full Group Conversation:

Sharing insights of lunch groups,  introducing the stories of our breakout group leaders and presenters

2:15 PM

15-Minute Break

2:30 PM













Aftenoon Break Out Sessions:

Food and Water Justice: How can we build a world where all communities - and all our local

and regional communities - have access to healthy food and safe drinking water?
In what ways does faith compel us to do this work?

How can faith communities take part in this struggle for environmental justice?

What is standing in our way?

What is giving us the inspiration and nourishment to keep on?

Group Leaders:
Pastor Eugene Keahey of Sandbranch, Seagoville, TX  (Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church)
Anita Mills, President of North Texas Unitarian Universalist Congregations,
Permaculture Design Specialist, Coordinator of Common Ground Street Choir (UU Church of Oak Cliff)
Tiffany Stoker, Local Farmer and Permaculture Design Specialist

 

Aftenoon Break Out Sessions:
How is the Doctrine of Discovery Related to Climate Justice?

The colonization of Africa and the Americas, and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, are all related to a series of Papal Bulls declared in the 15th and 16th centuries that sanctioned colonization and the enslavement and extermination of non-Christian Indigenous populations as God’s will.

The “Doctrine of Discovery” refers to the International and United States laws and policies that still today refer to this theological sanctioning of Christian colonization by European monarchs as legitimate legal precedent.

Through discussing written materials and the cases of coastal-Louisiana Indigenous populations (the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw and United Houma Nations) who are currently losing their homelands to rising sea levels, this session will explore the ways in which this history of oppression is part of the struggle for climate justice today.

Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. (Catholic)

 

Afternoon Break Out Sessions:

Faith-Based Communication and Advocacy

About Climate Action - Our presenter Yaira represents religious communities in Texas State political advocacy on environmental issues through the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy. She was also recently a presenter at an Interfaith climate change conference hosted by George Washington University and the US State Department, and was in Paris for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks last November and December, 2015, as a faith-based advocate for climate action.
In this group, talk with Yaira about the theological underpinnings calling us towards climate justice and explore how to communicate about these humongous topics in a faith-centered and empowering way. Much of this work is about moving from denial or despair to inspiration and mobilization.


Yaira Robinson, Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Texas Interfaith Power and Light,

(Congregation Agudas Achim, Jewish)

3:30 PM

15-Minute Break

3:45 PM


Bringing it all together:

Looking towards the future and Closing

4:30 PM


Optional Multi-Faith Prayer for Peace and Abundance for All People and Future Generations
(Outside, Martin Luther King Park)



Speaker Biographies

Colette Pichon Battle




Biography and Photo:
EchoingGreen.org

Colette Pichon Battle, Esq., is a native of Louisiana who, over the past nine years, has worked with local communities, national funders and elected officials around equity in the post-Katrina and post-BP disaster Gulf Coast.

In 2007 Colette received recognition from the American Bar Association and in 2008 she was awarded the U.S. Civilian Medal of Honor for the state of Louisiana; both awards were for her work around multi-racial, cross regional alliance building in the Katrina recovery. In 2012, Colette was named an “Expert of Color” by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development on issues that surround the U.S. racial wealth divide.

In 2014 Colette was selected for the Young Climate Justice National Fellowship based on her work with coastal communities of color. Currently, Colette serves as director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) managing programs focused on Global Migration, Community Economic Development, Climate Justice, and Equitable Disaster Recovery. Colette also serves a lead coordinator for Gulf South Rising, a regional initiative around climate justice in the South.

(Catholic)

 
Yaira Robinson




Biography and Photo:
TexasImpact.org

Yaira Robinson is the Associate Director of the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, where she coordinates Texas Interfaith Power & Light, one of 40 state Interfaith Power and Light programs that together offer a “religious response to climate change.” She joined the staff in 2008. Yaira is a rabbinical student in the ALEPH Rabbinic Ordination program and holds a Master’s in Theological Studies from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She has studied religiously-based environmental and food justice with Creation Justice Ministries, Hazon, GreenFaith, and the Siach network.

She has earned multiple DeRose-Hinkhouse awards from the Religion Communicators Council for materials she's written for the Interfaith Center, and is a Contributing Scholar for State of Formation, an online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. In that space, she writes about both her work and her religious journey. Yaira is joyfully Jewish, and an active member of Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin. She has two boys, Ezekiel and Elijah, and the three of them share their home with a one-eyed pug dog.

(Congregation Agudas Achim, Jewish)

 
 

Ada Simmons, elder and leader of the Katrina Survivors Network and Dallas Area Interfaith

(First Presbyterian Church of McKinney)

 
Cherelle Blazer





SierraClub.org (Coal)

Cherelle Blazer, Organizing Representative, Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign

(Ile Omo Ifa Wale)

 
Daniel Melendez





Liveable Arlington.org

Daniel Melendez - Event Lay Chaplain, Member of Liveable Arlington

(Vice President, Pathways UU Church)

 
Mavis Belisle





dpjc.org

Mavis Belisle - Dallas Peace & Justice Center Nuclear Free World Committee Chairperson

(UU Church of Oak Cliff)

 
Minister Dominique Alexander





Next Generation
Action Network (Facebook)

Minister Dominique Alexander - Founder and President, Next Generation Action Network

(Non-Denominational Christian)

 

Valley Reed - Executive Director, Kolo: Women’s Cross-Cultural Collaborations, Owner and Director of Chrysalis Healing Arts

(Earth-Based, Dream-Based & Shamanic Spiritual Practice)

 

Pastor Eugene Keahey of Sandbranch, Seagoville, Texas

(Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church)

 

Anita Mills, President of North Texas Unitarian Universalist Congregations, Permaculture Design Specialist, Coordinator of Common Ground Street Choir

(UU Church of Oak Cliff)

 
Tiffany Stoker





Tiffany Stoker, Local Farmer, Food Justice Activist, and Permaculture Design Specialist

 



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