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New series to explore Green New Deal

Presbyterian Hunger Program hosting virtual workshop beginning Thursday

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — For the next four weeks, the public will have a chance to learn about the Green New Deal in a virtual workshop being offered by the Presbyterian Hunger Program.

Based on a curriculum by the Unitarian Universalists, the video-and-discussion-based series kicks off Thursday, Sept. 24, and continues each Thursday through Oct. 15.

“It covers what is the Green New Deal, why it has been proposed, solutions, and what people can do,” said Andrew Kang Bartlett, PHP’s Associate for National Hunger Concerns.

The Green New Deal is a resolution championed by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) that provides a “framework for a comprehensive and ambitious plan to combat climate change,” according to her website.

“The Green New Deal is a comprehensive platform to guide the country in a transition from an unsustainable, fossil-fuel-based economy to a renewable energy-based economy with good jobs,” Kang Bartlett said. “Central to the Green New Deal is the concept of Just Transition, where workers displaced by the shifts will be trained so they can land in good living-wage jobs, so while invigorating the economy and reducing poverty, the Green New Deal will dramatically cut carbon emissions and ameliorate the climate crisis.”

The workshop exploring the Green New Deal is open to anyone who is curious about the platform or has an interest in related topics, such as care of Creation, green and renewable energy and shifting to a more-equitable economy, Kang Bartlett said.

The Green New Deal is “so comprehensive,” he added, and “it really gets at those various systemic issues that contribute to hunger and poverty.”

The Hunger Program addresses the intersection between poverty and the environment through Sustainable Living & Earth Care Concerns, an arm of PHP that accompanies Presbyterians reflecting on and living out economic and environmental decisions as an extension of their faith and values. That includes being sensitive to environmental racism and climate-related crises, such as rampant wildfires.

“We know that we can’t talk about some of the environmental issues without looking at the ways in which those environmental issues impact low-income and communities of color,” said Jessica Maudlin, PHP’s Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns. “We see the ways in which climate change is impacting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) communities and poorer communities more deeply than other places.”

Maudlin said she’s excited that participants in the workshop will have an opportunity to learn about the Green New Deal and other important issues in a way that equips them to move into advocacy.

The workshop will touch upon the federal THRIVE Act as well as “Investing in a Green Future: A Vision for a Renewed Creation—From the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy.” The latter was to be considered by the 224th General Assembly this summer until the pandemic led to a shortened session and agenda. It includes recommendations such as working toward a goal of 100% renewable energy in congregations, mid-councils and agencies in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by 2030.

PHP’s free workshop series begins at 1 p.m. Eastern Time Thursday, Sept. 24, and continues on Oct. 1, Oct. 8 and Oct. 15. You can register at http://bit.ly/php-gnd.

The Presbyterian Hunger Program is supported by One Great Hour of Sharing and is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.


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