Climate & Environmental Justice Conference
Faith-based, community-based, and academic collaboration for action
April 27 to 29, 2023
Calls for transformational change in response to human and ecological suffering associated with systemic injustices and the accelerating impacts of climate change are rising. We believe that universities can do more to partner with faith-based and secular institutions to co-produce actionable knowledge and social change with frontline communities.
The conference advanced the work of organizing community-university alliances and partnerships to promote climate and environmental justice in Northern California, across Latin America, and throughout Jesuit higher education.
Faculty and students, community organizers and advocates, policymakers, social ministry leaders, and funders participated in dialogues, keynotes, panels, a poster session, and workshops and networking sessions.
Together, we aimed to:
- Build stronger partnerships among grassroots environmental justice organizations, social ministry organizations, Catholic universities, and rights and interfaith faith-based approaches to climate justice.
- Spread a community-driven, participatory approach to research, teaching, and advocacy for climate justice and the common good among Northern California and global Catholic higher education.
- Create opportunities for Catholic philanthropy to fund collaborative programs between Catholic practitioner organizations and to advance Environmental Justice and the Common Good.
The conference developed strategies for advancing community-driven research for climate and environmental justice by:
- Centering race, Indigeneity, and income - Listening to the voices from those individuals and organizational leads in the the frontline of climate justice movements.
- Networking for capacity building and collective action - Building trust and relationships across differences to strengthen organizations and support collective action.
- Co-producing actionable knowledge - Collaborating to develop and share guides, training modules, playbooks, etc. for volunteers and paid staff in the ecosystem.
- Educating and training for transformation - Sharing professional development opportunities and curriculum to support personal and collective transformation.
Organized in affiliation with the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, the conference built bridges among a broad range of participants from higher education, community-based groups, secular organizations, and government agencies.