VTIPL Mid-November News – Native American Heritage Month – Happy Thanksgiving

Green Mountains, Blue Water

Earth Care News November

Native American Heritage Month – Happy Thanksgiving

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(Photo courtesy Donna Roberts)
VTIPL Climate Justice Series a Success!
  • VTIPL Advocates for an Equitable Transportation Climate Initiative
  • Pope Francis Discusses Beliefs, Climate with President-elect Joe Biden
  • National IPL Hosts New Film on Youth Activist Greta Thunberg I Am Greta
  • Food, Faith, Ecology: Grounding and Gratitude 11/19
  • God’s Call, Our Vocation in Times of Climate Change, Rev. Jim Antal 11/19
  • Harvest the Power Justice Convergence & Teach-In & United American Indians of New England’s Day of Mourning 11/19-11/26
  • Other Upcoming Events & Background on GivingTuesday
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VTIPL’s Climate Justice Series a Success!

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VTIPL is grateful to all who participated in our fall 2020 Climate Justice Series which featured three events starting October 12 and culminating in last week’s discussion and presentation of Rooting Out Structural Racism in American Agriculture, a powerful program of Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, featuring three distinguished panelists.

A recording of the November 12 event is now available, including the discussion with community members following the Law School program. A common sentiment shared was that for most of us the story of racism and bias in U.S. agriculture and farming was new and important information. As one participant said, “This was the best history lesson I’ve had in 40 years!” To learn more about current issues surrounding structural racism in farming and agriculture, Black land loss, and the unjust historical roots of these issues, watch the video recording of the event.
Learn about VT Law School.

Information and links to previous events in our Climate Justice Series, A Creation Justice Conversation with The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wright and The Rev. Dr. Arnold Thomas, and the Kiss the Ground film screening event at Mission Farm, hosted by The Rev. Rachel Field, are also on our website. The film is available on Netflix and can be rented for for $1 via Vimeo.



Our gratitude abounds for the support of our VTIPL Series sponsors: Vermont Sierra Club, Mission Farm, Virginia IPL, and program partner Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food systems.

Stay tuned for more events!


VTIPL Advocates for an Equitable Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI)
VTIPL has joined a group of 200 organizations in support of an equitable Transportation Climate Initiative in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region signing on to a Memorandum of Understanding to governors and mayors.
The letter begins as follows:

“We, the 200 undersigned transportation, health, environment, business, labor, and community groups and regional and state coalitions, write to express our collective position on the proposed regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) program that Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and D.C. have been developing since 2017, and for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to the program is expected later this year.

We support an ambitious and equitable TCI program that includes strong safeguards and guarantees for overburdened and underserved communities as an important part of our shared efforts to combat the climate crisis, protect public health, and address inequities in the transportation sector. We urge TCI jurisdictions to move forward with such a program, consistent with the principles and criteria we outline below, while continuing to work.”

What is the TCI? The TCI is a proposed regional collaboration of 12 states and the District of Columbia that seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy, and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. Participating states are negotiating details of the collaboration. In Vermont, transportation generates 44.5% of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions, so participation in TCI could have a significant effect on our carbon footprint. Read the full letter and learn more about TCI.

Pope Francis and Pres.-elect Biden at a 2016 conference at the Vatican.

Pope Francis Discusses Shared Beliefs, Climate with President-elect Biden
On the heels of the 2020 presidential election, Pope Francis last week called to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his victory. During the conversation, the Pope and Biden are said to have discussed “shared beliefs” which Biden intends to adhere to during his presidency, including taking on the climate crisis. As many of us know, Pope Francis has been outspoken on climate issues for some time, pushing world leaders to confront the crisis including creating a more equitable world. Biden intends to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord on the first day of his presidency and spend more than $2 trillion shifting the U.S. away from fossil fuels to green jobs and renewable energy. VTIPL looks forward to the new administration’s plans to support positive action to help mitigate climate change and uplift humanity at home and abroad. Read more in this article from The Hill.


National IPL Hosts New Film & Discussion on Activist Greta Thunberg.
On November 24, at 6:15 p.m. EDT, join Interfaith Power & Light for a free viewing of the film, I Am Greta, about amazing young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, then participate in a post-screening webinar with IPL youth leaders sharing their stories of activism. The webinar begins immediately after the film (8 p.m. EDT).

I Am Greta is the story of Greta Thunberg told through compelling, never-before-seen footage in this intimate documentary from Swedish director Nathan Grossman. Starting with her one-person school strike for climate action outside the Swedish Parliament, Grossman follows Greta – a shy student with Asperger’s Syndrome – in her rise to prominence and her galvanizing global impact as she sparks school strikes around the world. The film culminates with her extraordinary wind-powered voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to speak at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City.” Watch the trailer. Register for film & IPL webinar.

Food, Faith, Ecology: Grounding and Gratitude. Nov. 19, 1 p.m. EDT
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development will explore “Holy Eating” from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives. Rabbi Yonatan Neril, ICSD founder will be joined by: Shaykh Mustafa Umar, President of California Islamic University, and Director of Education and Outreach at the Islamic Institute of Orange County; Rev. Dr. Jill Crainshaw, Vice Dean for Faculty Development and Academic Initiatives at Wake Forest University School of Divinity; and Rabbi Bill Kaplan, Executive Director of the Shalom Institute, a Jewish and environmental education center, and home of Shemesh Farms, a social enterprise employing adults with developmental disabilities. The event coincides with publication of Eco Bible, Vol. 1: An Ecological Commentary on Genesis and Exodus, co-authored by Rabbi Neril and Rabbi Leo Dee. The Center is also holding a December 10 event. Register.

God’s Call, Our Vocation in a Time of Climate Change: Rev. Jim Antal. Nov. 19, 7 p.m. EDT
Climate activist, author, United Church of Christ (UCC) minister and VTIPL friend Rev. Jim Antal speaks in this virtual event of the Glastonbury Abbey. Rev. Antal has been at the forefront of the ecology movement from the first Earth Day in 1970. Over the years, he has protested alongside Julian Bond and Bill McKibben, founded NEREM (New England Regional Environmental Ministries), and initiated the UCC’s Keep it in the Ground project, prompting hundreds of pastors to preach on climate change. His belief in our ability and responsibility to participate in the renewal and reordering of the Earth is clear as he speaks of science, our collective grief over the ecological harming of the world, and the relationship between racial, economic, and climate injustice. Urging action with resilience in place of growth, wisdom in place of progress, and accountability in place of disregard, Rev. Antal helps guide us toward a more hopeful future. Register here.

Harvest the Power Justice Convergence & Teach-In,
United American Indians of New England’s Day of Mourning.
November 19-26, the Unitarian Universalist Association, UU Ministry for Earth and partners are hosting this Teach-in, including programs and documentary screenings. In 2016, Unitarian Universalists voted to pay special attention to learning our history and rethinking Thanksgiving in the year 2020, in observance of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in Plymouth, MA. The event also recognizes a United American Indians of New England’s Day of Mourning event on Nov. 26. Read more about the interconnections between racial and climate justice, and register for the Teach-In.

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Other Events & GivingTuesday Background

Nov. 23, 1:15 p.m. Cross-Sector Partnerships for Developing and Scaling Food System Solutions in the Northeast US
Hosted by Gund Institute for Environment at UVM and Ben & Jerry’s, this session features ongoing regional partnerships among researchers, farmers, private sector decision makers, and other key stakeholders that reimagine externalities in food systems and work with agricultural innovators to produce real social, environmental, and economic benefits. To achieve innovative and scalable solutions for sustainable food systems, “we need to bring together the best minds from across sectors. Partnerships are essential for developing creative solutions and moving promising ideas into broader action.” Register.

Through November 30 – VisionMaker & WORLD Channel Film Festival Join the Tribal Sovereignty and Home free virtual film celebration of Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month presented by Vision Maker Media. Tribal Sovereignty and Home showcases Native American topics that have long resonated within Native communities in the U.S. such as Native Nation sovereignty, empowerment, history, and healing. The curated selection includes films that educate audiences about the histories, battles, and accomplishments of Native Americans. Access WORLD Channel films here. Learn about Vision Maker Media.

Dec. 3, 6 p.m. Racism in Vermont is a Public Health Issue
The theme of Vermont Public Health Association’s Annual Conference is Racism in Vermont as a Public Health Issue. The Association recognizes the recent events in response to the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. “These Black lives lost due to police violence reflect the deep and ongoing ‘pandemic’ of racism that permeates our society and blocks any effort to build equitable societal systems of health and wellness for Black Americans….We encourage all our members and colleagues to become actively involved in this watershed moment by working…to address structural racism and move us forward to a society that is equitable for all.“ Register for the virtual conference.

And Finally…Giving at a Time of Thanks.

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, we’d like to share a bit about the international day of charitable giving known as GivingTuesday – a day that encourages people to do good. Started in 2012 by New York City’s 92nd Street “Y” and the United Nations Foundation, it also offers an alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two days of intense over-consumption in the U.S. This year, GivingTuesday falls on December 1st. How can you participate in GivingTuesday?

You may have already received notices from nonprofit organizations asking you to donate money to their missions on the upcoming GivingTuesday. While you can certainly donate to nonprofits whose missions you support, you can also give of your time and talents by volunteering. Help a neighbor or friend with a task where they need some assistance. Smile! Smile more than usual.

Vermont Interfaith Power & Light’s mission is to support Vermont faith communities’ efforts to address climate change and provide a faith-based response to the climate crisis. In support of our mission, do something to help Creation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Support local farmers – buy local food
  • Contribute to a neighborhood food drive
  • Drive less – consider buying an electric or hybrid car
  • Set back your thermostat
  • Replace an inefficient appliance with an Energy STAR appliance
  • Give to Vermont Interfaith Power & Light (see Donate Now link below)

For GivingTuesday on December 1, do something that will help your neighborhood, your community, or an organization that supports your values. VTIPL will also provide an opportunity to donate on December 1.

We are extremely thankful for your financial and other contributions to our ongoing work at the intersection of faith, climate, and justice.

Donate Now

Courtesy Gerald Lee Hoffman

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