Women take the lead to save our planet
By Meagan Manas, Cross-posted from NCC Women’s Ministries
As we lead up to Climate Negotiations in Copenhagen in December, we are thinking about the theme of Women’s History Month’s 2009, Women: Taking the Lead to Save our Planet. There is a great list of women from around the world working in eco-justice is available from Women’s History Project.
Among those taking the lead in the ecumenical movement are Cassandra Carmichael, who serves as Eco-Justice Program Director for the National Council of Churches, and Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss, the founder and Faith Communities Educator of the Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) Women of Faith in Action program. (See below for excellent resources from both organizations.)
Often, the problem of environmental degradation and its solutions can seem too large, abstract, and overwhelming to do anything. To avoid this kind of paralysis, Cassandra Carmichael and NCC Eco-Justice have a strategy. “The way we see it at Eco-Justice,” Carmichael says, “is an education for advocacy model. You can’t ask people to take action in their homes, congregations, and civic communities unless they know and care about the issues.” Some Earth Day ideas and resources for your congregation to use in the education to advocacy model are available on the Eco-Justice website.
Another excellent tool in the education to advocacy model for environmental education in your congregation and community is the “Faith Seeking Peace” curriculum from WAND. Available online, this resource examines several often overlooked aspects of war including its environmental impact. Rev. Hendler-Voss wrote this curriculum and reflected in a recent conversation that “The violation of land, women, and the spirit of a people are all integral to the objectives of war. Eco-feminist theology names the stubborn link between the violation of women’s bodies and the violation of God’s bodies (the Earth and the beloved community), while also claiming them as a locus for healing and change.”
As we recognize the ecological efforts of women across the globe, we should not be surprised to see so many women working on these issues.