Humanity Rising Day 203 – Friday March 12, 2021
The Vanishing Garden: Religion and the Fate of the Earth
All world religions have a reverence for the earth; most believe that God or divine beings made the earth as a habitation for humanity and that all peoples have a responsibility for nurturing and preserving the earth, its human and animal creatures and its natural resources. This is the second Humanity Rising session on Climate Change and earth stewardship from the perspectives of the world’s religions. The first session, featuring activists from Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism, focused on preserving and restoring the earth to a healthy state and religious/spiritual strategies for addressing the current ecological crisis.
- Dr. Robert Rees is Visiting Professor and Director of Mormon Studies at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He has taught at UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, and Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania where he was a Fulbright Professor of American Studies (1995-96). A poet and scholar, Rees has published widely on religion as well as on politics, culture, literature, education, and the arts. He has long been involved in interfaith work, including in relation to climate issues. He is the co-founder and current Vice-President of the Bountiful children’s Foundation, a humanitarian organization that addresses children’s malnutrition in the developing world.
- Gopal D. Patel is Co-Founder and Director of Bhumi Global, a non-profit organization that works to educate and mobilize Hindu communities globally for environmental action. He has been an environmental activist, campaigner and consultant for over 10 years, working in India, East Africa, Europe and North America. A recognized global leader in the religious environmental movement, he has been honored for his work by Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, spoken at the White House, and currently serves as an Advisor on Religion and Sustainable Development to the United Nations. Born and raised in the England, he currently lives with his wife in New York City.
- Katherine Whitecloud of the Wipazoka Dakota Oyate lives her life as mother, grandmother and holder of the sacred knowledge shared by her ancestors through her Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Parents and teachers who have graced her path in life. Her greatest passion is to insure that the language and teachings of our ancestors are shared and carried forward to live and thrive through the youth of today. A strong advocate for children and families, Katherine’s message reinforces that without our children, we have no tomorrow. Katherine is an Educator, a Counselor, Advisor, Leader and Knowledge Holder/Keeper gifted with the Healing Knowledge of our Ancestors and the necessity of caring for our Mother Earth.
- Nana Firman, a native Indonesian living in California, worked with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in her native country of Indonesia. She is a member of the Green Mosque Committee for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Recently, she organized the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change and co-founded the Global Muslim Climate Network (GMCN), which calls to all Muslim nations to transition from fossil-fuel to clean-energy based development. In 2015, she was named as the White House Champion of Change for Climate Faith Leaders. She is a LEAD Fellow on Green Economy and currently is the Muslim Outreach Director for GreenFaith, a global faith and spiritual environmental action network.
- Jim Garrison, President, Ubiquity University
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