Allegany Franciscan Ministries has adopted “Climate Justice and Care for Creation” as our next strategic priority focus area. With our long-planned transition out of the Common Good Initiative set for the end of 2023, we have an opportunity to use our social, human, and financial capital in new ways.
Over the last year, Allegany’s board and staff team considered our vision, mission, and values, working both to understand who we are and what we have accomplished, and also to think about what community issues align the most with what matters to us and what we do best. Through this process, we identified Climate Justice and Care for Creation as a strategic priority focus.
Climate justice advocates for solutions that address the disproportionate climate impacts on people of color, women, people with disabilities, people who are economically poor, and those who live in under-resourced neighborhoods and communities. Climate justice recognizes that people who have done the least to cause climate change are the ones who suffer the worst of its effects,
like flooding, drought, rising sea levels, and heatwaves.
Care for Creation is a principle in Catholic social teaching, calling us to protect people and the planet, and to live our faith in right relationship with all of God’s creation.
Throughout calendar year 2022, we are intentionally learning and listening to community members, community organizations, and experts in the climate justice field. As we learn, we will identify goals and strategies and develop a theory of change to guide our climate justice work for the next five or more years. Our emerging climate justice approach addresses the disproportionate impacts of climate change on communities of color and low-income communities, and centers these frontline communities.
We hope to develop a climate justice approach that addresses short, medium, and long-term systems change. We also recognize that working towards climate justice requires concurrent activities in mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and leadership. A successful climate justice and care for creation effort will require significant partnerships with others who share our vision of communities that are ever more just, equitable, and caring and where everyone is welcomed and has the resources to thrive.
Over the years, Allegany has supported environmental health projects in all our grant programs, ranging from urban gardens, built environment projects, community organizing on college campuses, to biodigesters and clean water initiatives in Brazil and Haiti. Through this new strategic priority focus, we will invest meaningful levels of financial, human, and social capital to address climate justice and care for creation each year. In recent months, we’ve awarded two $100,000 grants to partners in Florida – Florida Student PIRGs and Florida Rising, to promote their climate justice efforts.
Check our website and follow us on social media to see updates and opportunities for input as we develop our Climate Justice and Care for Creation focus.