The Unitarian Universalist (UU) faith has taken the stand that “Advancing the human rights of communities affected by climate change is a moral imperative.”
The UU Commit2Respond call to action declares:
“As people of faith and conscience, we have a responsibility to defend our home and care for each other, working to be in solidarity with those most impacted by pollution, environmental destruction, increasingly severe natural disasters, and more. We must take action to shift, advance, and grow.
We envision a future where those who disproportionately bear the burdens of climate change are leaders in the search for solutions, and their rights and needs are the bedrock of our collective climate justice work.”
We who live in the Gulf South, in communities profoundly affected by climate change, can lead in this moral call.
Many southern Unitarian Universalists and the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal have joined in organizing with Gulf South Rising (GSR), a regional movement of coordinated actions and events to highlight the impact of the global climate crisis on the Gulf South region (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida).
“From the extreme extraction of fossil fuels to the pollution and the severe weather that follows – the Gulf South is on the frontline on climate change in the United States. For generations, the Gulf South has been a sacrifice zone, with levels of pollution and extraction that provide benefit to the nation, but create irreparable harm in our region. Through collaborative events and actions around strategic dates in 2015 Gulf South Rising is demanding a just transition away from extractive industries, discriminatory policies and unjust practices that hinder equitable recovery from disaster and impedes the development of sustainable communities.”
And friends, the beauty of this movement is that everyone is invited – everyone. Bring your own lens, your own passion, your own relationships within the interdependent web of all existence – and stand on the side of love together for everyone and everything impacted by the effects of climate change.
To this movement, I bring my passionate clarity that the oppressive intersection of racism with an economy built on stolen land with stolen bodies continues to infect our minds and hearts. We must work together to undo the poison of supremacy and inferiority that is poured within each of us.
Only when we can see our faces in each other’s eyes,
hear our voices in each other’s words,
understand that our liberation is bound up with everyone else’s –
understand, as nonviolent activist Barbara Deming said,
“Our own pulse beats in every stranger’s throat,”
only then can we be – everyone of us – free.
Only then can we advance the human rights of everyone.
Beloveds, let us take the moral stand.
Let us commit to respond to Advance the Human Rights of the Affected Communities – for they are us. And we need each other.
We need each other to survive and to thrive as climate change transforms the world in which we live.
“The seas are rising and so are we!” #GulfSouthRising