Climate Action

Broken By the Cry

I am honored to be working with Moral Action on Climate (MAC) and Earth Day Network (EDN) on the historic rally for climate justice during the Pope’s visit to Washington, DC. My Climate Reality Project colleague at MAC, Lise Van Susteren, wrangled me into this, thankfully. It has been an experience of a lifetime already and the Pope is not even here yet!  We created a coalition from all walks of life that historically have not worked together. It has had its challenges and thankfully we have a licensed psychiatrist on the team- Lise! Two day ago preparing for the Moral Action for Climate Justice Rally as the Pope speaks to Congress on Thursday left me with a sleepless night ahead. Thus, I decided to meditate and reflect on the portion of the Pope’s encyclical that is the motto for our rally – “…to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” Our speakers for the rally reflect this important intersection of climate and poverty in their speeches. The diversity of the speakers is quite striking. We miraculously created a coalition of Greens, Blacks, Multi-Faiths, Latino, Native American, Straight, Gay, Women, Men, Labor, Military, Democrat, Republican, Socialist, Young, and Old. We are all so different, but each of us has our heart broken by the cry. As keeper of the Environmental Justice and Faith speaker list, I was quite emotionally moved by stories that will be told on the National Mall. The rally will prove itself to be motivating with speeches from the likes of  Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus engaging young voters and as well as working on human rights issues in the Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina to Executive Director of UPROSE, Elizabeth C. Yeampierrelong-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency in Sunset Park, NY. Jay Winter Nightwolf who aims to educate and bring awareness of the plight and history of the Native American Indian will also appear as will Kaya Banton and Destiny Watford are frontline activist from Chester Environmental Justice and Free Your Voice who mobilized and rallied a public pressure campaign against a trash train and incinerator plan across the region leading to the larger Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee’s decision to end its support for the project. There are so many more speakers. Everyone has a story to tell. My hope is that they inspire you at this historic occasion. Come to the National Mall this thursday (September 24) at 7:00AM and hear for yourself the work people are doing across the country, and get motivated! Though the rally this isn’t just all talk! We need the cries of thousands from the rally to reach Congress to get them to act on climate change. The time is now. Join the event here. Vivian Groves Fulk