By Cindy Davidson, UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) board member
Looking for a way to bring the UUA’s focus on immigration to your Green Sanctuary work? Or, conversely, a way to bring your Green Sanctuary team’s environmental justice concerns to the table? Or, perhaps you’re wondering just how these issues are interconnected? With this in mind, UUMFE has chosen to focus Earth Day materials this year on Environmental Justice and Immigration.
The Earth Day 2012 materials, now available, will help guide you in exploring ways your Green Sanctuary committee/team and your congregation might explore the link between EJ and immigration this Earth Day, April 22nd. The collection of materials can help in planning worship services and other activities around Earth Day. We’ve pulled together background information, resources, and suggested actions with a broad focus on links between environmental justice and immigration. We’ll give you some ideas to consider, from the injustices of health care issues disproportionately affecting migrant populations to the environmental impact of border walls upon all species. We look at climate change and the connection with forced migration and the disproportionate impact climate change extols on the most vulnerable. We look at environmental injustices hidden in anti-immigration legislation, including access to water. And, we even look at the anti-population growth and “immigrants are bad for our environment” arguments. We hope you find much food for thought!
As in past years, we include practical materials to use for worship services, including Order of Service covers and inserts about UUMFE. We also encourage congregations to take advantage of Earth Day to honor and celebrate the contributions of an Eco-Hero in your midst; you’ll find a certificate you can use online, too. Most importantly, we hope you will nominate your Eco-Hero for UUMFE’s Guardian of the Future award. See full details online.
As you plan your Earth Day activities, please remember to register them on our website to share with others. Your plans may just be the inspiration others need to take action in congregations near and far! If this year’s theme is not a “good fit” for your current environmental focus, we encourage you to use the materials for prior Earth Days, especially Earth Day 2010: Food and Environmental Justice or Earth Day 2011: Sacred Waters. In fact, the 2010 and 2011 tables of Earth Day activities from registered congregations contain hundreds of inspirational ideas for you to try.
We look forward to hearing about how UU congregations across the country celebrate Earth Day 2012!