Our Place in the Web of Life: An Introduction To Environmental Justice

Climate Justice At General Assembly

The theme of General Assembly (GA) 2016 is “Heart Land: Where Faiths Connect.” There will be many workshops and activities that tie this theme to environmental, ecological, and climate justice. These presentations may be of interest to individuals and congregations looking for inspiration and projects for their Green Sanctuary action plans.

Also, come by the UUMFE booth in the Exhibit Hall (#222), a.k.a., “Climate Justice Central.” for UUMFE, UU Young Adults for Climate Justice and Commit2Respond newsletters, action alerts, and sign-up stations.


Note:  HR = Hyatt Regency   CC - Convention Center

#221 Building Interfaith Partnerships To Address Climate Justice,  Thursday at 10:45 a.m., HR Union E, UU Ministry for Earth.

Panelists will share how the global events of Paris and Laudate Si get played out in localized environmental justice coalitions.

The Color of Water,  Thursday, 12:00 noon - 12:30 p.m., UUSC, Booth #207, Exhibit Hall C,

Amber Moulton, the UUSC researcher who produced the UUSC report The Invisible Crisis: Water Unaffordability in the United States will be discussing the report in a ‘pop up’ session at the UUSC booth. Moulton will be available for questions and share where to find more information. 

#231 Exploring Regional and Interfaith Grassroots Organizing for Climate Justice, Thursday at 1:15 p.m., CC Union Station Ballroom A, North Texas UU Congregations.

Come for stories and discussion of regional, interfaith, multicultural climate justice organizing that strengthens roots and relationships for localized transformation and liberation.

#257 Sustainable Development and Interfaith Action Against Climate Change, Thursday at 3 p.m., CC Hall F, UU United Nations Office.

Learn about UU delegates’ multi-faith and multinational dialogue at COP21, the United Nations climate conference where the Paris Agreement was adopted, and how we can engage in interfaith climate action in our communities.

#251 Proposed Congregational Study/Action Issues(CSAI) for 2016-2020, Thursday at 3 p.m., CC C220-222, Commission on Social Witness.

Hear advocates for four proposed CSAIs present their issues and respond to questions. Voting for the next CSAI will take place in the General Session II, Friday 8:30am - Noon.

#336 Faith Communities Can Work Together To Reverse Climate Change, Friday at 3 p.m., CC Battelle South, UUs for a Just Economic Community; First UU Church of Columbus, OH.

Faith community leaders will discuss climate change, and practical actions to address the failure of democracy to mitigate its, due to unchallenged corporate power and money.

#355 MORALtorium: The Faith Community and Hydrofracking,

Friday 4:45 p.m., CC Battelle Grand B, UU Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network

The moral implications of fracking, including our health, safety and climate change will be discussed.  Also, strategies will be presented that have resulted in moratoriums that have been successful. Excerpts from the documentary Groundswell Rising will be featured.

 #411 Shared Liberation: Movement Building That Honors Front-Line Communities,  Saturday at 3 p.m., CC Union Station Ballroom A,  Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal.

Through a race, power, and climate justice lens, learn how UUs can stand on the side of love holistically, authentically, and with integrity.

EJ Curriculum banner for website

Use this curriculum to discover what environmental justice means to your congregation and community

This highly-engaging, five-session class invites participants to look deeply at the consequences of their actions on people and the environment–close at home and then further away in communities across the nation and world. Through film, music, participatory research, visual mapping, ethical reflection, meditation and ritual, participants wrestle with what it means to be faithfully and justly part of an inter-connected community of life.

The curriculum is easily adapted to meet specific thematic interests, and can help deepen a congregation’s work on Ethical Eating, Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression, climate and economic justice. It provides an excellent platform and preparation for Green Sanctuary action planning.

Short overview of the Web of Life Curriculum

“…in looking at environmental issues through a justice lens, this curriculum took us to a whole new level. The mapping exercise in particular was a very powerful learning tool." (UU Church in Reston, VA)

Learn more about the curriculum                                         EJ Curriculum Cover

  • This page includes the goals of the curriculum and explains how this curriculum relates to other courses and programs.
  • Read the two-page Executive Summary of the curriculum.
  • Meet the co-authors, Dr. Mark Hicks and Pamela Sparr.
  • Click here to watch Pam and Mark offer a short overview of the curriculum (YouTube, less than three minutes) or watch above.
  • Read testimonials from congregations who have already offered the curriculum.
  • Preview the curriculum: check out the Table of Contents and look through a sample session.

Help for facilitators

  • This page includes answers to all your programming and scheduling questions as well as materials from an introductory webinar. Note: Once you have provided your contact information through the curriculum download, you will be notified of future training webinars.
  • Watch this video demonstrating how to facilitate the mapping process in Session 3 and help your group reach an environmental "Ah Ha!" moment (YouTube, 15 minutes).
  • Read these background materials for the mapping process.

Download the full curriculum through our online store

Please fill in a donation amount at checkout. After you submit the order form, you will receive an e-mail with a link to access the full curriculum (1.3 MB PDF). Download the 8.5X11 curriculum cover seen above right (426 KB PDF).

What does it cost?

When you download the curriculum you will be asked to make a donation which will enable us to offer coaching and other congregational support as well as outreach to new audiences. The suggested donation is related to the number of participants in your course and/or the size of your congregation: $100 for a large congregation and $50 for a smaller congregation.

Please help us continue to update and expand this program, which was funded initially by individual donors and a grant from the UU Fund for Social Responsibility.