Climate Justice & Care for Creation, News

Climate Justice Care for Creation Update Sept. 2023

Climate Justice & Care for Creation Initiative post.

By Daniel Gibson

In 2022, Allegany Franciscan Ministries announced a new strategic initiative addressing Climate Justice and Care for Creation. Since then, our Board of Directors and staff have continued a measured discernment process, gaining new knowledge and strategic focus for the initiative. Notable accomplishments have included: connecting with stakeholders and subject matter experts, developing and strengthening strategic partnerships with organizations and consultants, planning calls with potential policy partners, and hosting and participating in convenings with other funders and partners around climate issues.

Listening to People in our Communities

A critical part of Allegany’s approach has always been to listen to the people in our communities. This summer, we engaged a trio of organizations (Health Council of South Florida, Health Council of Southeast Florida, and Health Council of West Central Florida) to co-design and execute Community Listening Sessions throughout Florida, gaining first-hand accounts from Floridians on what they think and know about, and how their lives have been impacted by recent climate and environmental changes in our state. Hundreds of community members were engaged in these conversations, with special attention made to ensure the voices and unique perspectives of BIPOC, indigenous, LGBTQ, and farmworker populations were heard.

This process elevated several common themes across communities, including: the impacts of climate gentrification and what equitable responses to climate gentrification can be; identifying current needs for community-level information, education, and advocacy; and the importance of developing micro solutions for climate resiliency in historically marginalized communities.

Climate Justice & Care for Creation Initiative Evaluation

Currently, Allegany is working with RGS Partners Consulting and Collaborators Consulting Group, to finalize the Climate Justice & Care for Creation Initiative’s strategic priorities and establish baseline metrics related to our commitment to addressing climate justice in Florida. With the help of these consultant groups, our staff and board will develop goals and interventions, and determine how Allegany can best invest in climate solutions.

Allegany is committed to addressing the histories of environmental injustices experienced throughout Florida and developing plans that integrate all community narratives and voices to develop more equitable climate communications, interventions, and policies. We expect to announce more details about the Climate Justice & Care for Creation Initiative in the late fall of 2023.

Recent Grants

Examples of recent grant partners to further our understanding of large and small climate-related projects occurring in our state include:

CLEO Institute, Advancing Climate & Intergenerational Justice in Florida with GenCLEO
The GenCLEO Youth Empowerment Movement Program helps youth advocate for their future through climate action, public speaking, and media & communication training paired with civic leadership & empowerment skills for both college and high school students.

The Direct Action and Research Training (DART) Center, Care for Creation
The DART Center Care for Creation project supports the development of strong congregation-based Justice Ministry Organizations and specifically their work on local climate justice organizing efforts. Funds support ongoing capacity building, recruitment of new leaders, training for leaders and organizers, and coordination among the 14 DART affiliates (9 in Florida) that have identified care for creation as a focus.

Struggle for Miami’s Affordable and Sustainable Housing (SMASH), Liberty City goes Solar Powered!
Pilot program that educates residents on the benefits of installing solar panels on SMASH’s Housing and Healing Justice Cooperative (HHJC) in Liberty City, allowing the Cooperative to expand its role as a resilience hub in the Community Emergency Operations Center network.

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