Green Team Summit 2020 – Facing the Rising Sun: Climate Change & Ecowomanist Wisdom

GIPL held the third annual Green Team Summit on Saturday, January 25, 2020.  We are grateful to the United Methodist Church General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) for hosting us this year!  With the theme, “Facing the Rising Sun: Climate Change & Ecowomanist Wisdom,” the 2020 Green Team Summit explored issues of environmental justice and environmental racism in Georgia. 

Our keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Melanie Harris, Professor of Religion and Ethics at TCU (Texas Christian University), offered an inspiring message and detailed ecowomanist methodology for climate change in her address, “Earth Honoring Faiths: Living Inspired in Our Time.” The ecowomanist method, which provided the frameowork for Rev. Harris’ message, is an approach to environmental justice that combines African American spirituality and indigenous earth wisdom. We hope all attendees left with  strategies to raise awareness about the intersection of social justice and climate change.

In addition to the keynote address, GIPL welcomed Compassionate Atlanta co-director, Iyabo Onipede, who led an opening ritual for the Green Team Summit where we established “Brave Space.”  GIPL signed the Charter for Compassion, an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the importance of compassion, justice, and equity throughout our work.

Workshops were led by Brionté McCorkle, Executive Director of Georgia Conservation Voters; Chandra Brown, Consultant/Owner of Influence Advocacy, LLC; Rev. Jenny Phillips, Senior Technical Advisor for Environmental Sustainability of Global Ministries; Chandra Farley, Eriqah Vincent, and Wan Smith of Partnership for Southern Equity; Codi Norred, Program Director of GIPL; and Lindsay Harper, Executive Director, Georgia WAND.

The day ended with a screening of director David Barnhart’s latest documentary, “Flint: The Poisoning of an American City” and brief discussion of water issues in Georgia.  “Flint” traces the timeline of the Flint, Michigan’s interaction with the Flint River – from the continued abuse and neglect of both city infrastructure and environmental regulations, to subsequent population decline, through to Michigan’s 2013 appointing of outside emergency managers. This poisonous mix of factors created a crisis which has gone on for five years, resulting in record high levels of lead in the drinking water of the city.  Learn more about the film here, and contact GIPL to request a screening of the film in your faith community.

With over 150 attendees, this year’s Summit was a huge success!  GIPL is grateful to Global Ministries staff and volunteers, Tanya Tevit of Badda Bing! Catering and her staff for the delicious brunch, all of the workshop presenters, and especially Rev. Dr. Melanie Harris for her words of wisdom.

View Photos from the 3rd Annual Green Team Summit.

Looking for more resources on Womanism and Ecowomanism? Check out this great resource.