General Assembly policy on environmental racism and justice
At the 2018 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the following new policy was approved:
On Responding to Environmental Racism and to Promote Environmental Justice
The Presbytery of Monmouth overtures the 223rd General Assembly (2018) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to
- Renew our denomination’s call to promote environmental justice and oppose environmental injustice in all its forms.
- Take action to respond to environmental racism and environmental injustice in all its forms.
- a. To provide educational resources to churches and mid councils about environmental racism and injustice.
- b. To provide information and resources to enable the buildings and operations of our churches to be more environmentally sound.
- Listen to the perspectives and voices of people most impacted by environmental racism, with awareness to cultural diversity domestically and internationally.
- In accordance with the Gospel, position the church’s approach to environmental problems to include responses to the voices most directly impacted by environmental racism.
Actions since the General Assembly policy
PC(USA) staff and elected committee members have learned about the realities of environmental racism and injustice in several contexts, meeting with affected Presbyterians in Yukon Presbytery (PHP staff), and with local EJ communities in New Orleans LA (MRTI committee), Chicago IL (PHP staff and Advisory Committee), Flint MI (PHP staff), Detroit MI (MRTI committee) and Louisville KY (CPJ staff). The documentary “Flint: The Poisoning of an American City” explores issues of water and environmental justice and will be available for congregations to use as an educational tool. That documentary and a panel of speakers explored environmental racism and justice at a PHP Leaders training in October 2018.
Environmental Justice is a clear place where social justice, environment, hunger and poverty come together.
The Presbyterian Hunger Program and the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People hosted a webinar in November 2017 on the Impact of Environmental Injustice on Low Income and Communities of Color with guest speakers Elona Street-Stewart, Shantha Ready Alonso, and Grace Ji-Sun Kim.
What is Environmental Justice?
Where is the Church involved?
- The documentary “Flint: the Poisoning of an American City” is available to be used for education and advocacy
- The devotional guide on Sustainable Development Goals helps congregations connect environmental and human health around the world
- Read about Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, a Presbyterian Hunger Program grant partner in Chicago
- Read about a Mission Responsibility Through Investment meeting near New Orleans
- Read about Presbyterians in Yukon Presbytery feeling the impact of climate change
- Presbyterian Youth Gather Around Environmental Racism
- Standing Rock and Presbyterians
- Waste from Huanuni Mine Harms Communities Downstream—Joining Hands Bolivia
- Sand Mining in Sri Lanka Endangers Coral Reefs and Livelihoods—Joining Hands Sri Lanka
Joining Hands Peru
Click here to watch short videos about Little Village Environmental Justice Organization in Chicago and their Semillas de Justicia garden.