Ecological destruction, income inequality and racial injustice cannot be treated as isolated concerns. We may be called to focus on different aspects of the whole, but without awareness of that whole, our work will fall short. Traditional Quaker testimonies highlight both the connections among these concerns and the imperative to act.
Understanding the connections
“We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it much integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
—Pope Francis, Laudato Si
The eco-justice movement “embodies the fundamental understanding that those who contribute the least to the excess of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere consistently and disproportionately experience the most severe and disruptive consequences of global warming, and are often the least prepared to cope with its consequences.”
—Brian Tokar, Toward Climate Justice
The wealthiest 7% of the world’s people are responsible for 50% of all emissions.
“The six US states with the highest African American populations are all in the Atlantic hurricane zone, and African Americans also have the highest historic rates of heat death.”
—Brian Tokar, Toward Climate Justice
“If black lives matter – and they do – then global warming is already a five-alarm fire, and the lives it has taken are already far too many.”
—Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything
“In this sense, climate change mitigation may be one of the most important anti-racism projects of the 21st century.”
—Eric Toensmeier, The Carbon Farming Solution
We value equality. Yet we see economic disparities increasing dramatically, with racial minorities experiencing the brunt of both income inequality and environmental damage.
We value integrity. Yet Gross Domestic Product is a false measure of prosperity, and truth is being sacrificed in advertising, mass media, public discourse, and politics.
We value simplicity. Yet our ‘Growth economy’ requires everincreasing consumption, debt, and intrusion on the natural world to sustain itself.
We value community. Yet we are deeply divided by racism, those facing economic insecurity and confined to prisons grows, and God’s community of life is diminished.
We value peace. Yet the violence and devastation caused by our economic system’s exploitation of both people and planet is alarming.
“Making peace with the earth was always an ethical and ecological imperative. It has now become a survival imperative for our species…People’s need for food and water can be met only if nature’s capacity to provide food and water is protected. Defending the rights of Mother Earth is therefore the most important human rights and social justice struggle. It is the broadest peace movement of our times.” —Dr. Vandana Shiva
In pursuit of justice and a world with a future, the EcoJustice Collaborative of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is engaged in projects to support Friends in their quest for a nation and economy that serves justice and the commonwealth of life.
What We Do
We serve as a home for Friends acting on their leading in the intersection of racial, economic, and climate justice. We organize events, prepare written materials, advocate for policy change and the adoption of responsible energy practices. We act as an incubator for new projects focusing on creating a just transition to a stable climate and a caring and equitable economy.
Who We Are
We are members of Meetings from all walks of life. We welcome Friends with passion and the energy to devote to active witness on economic, racial and climate justice work.
When We Meet
We meet monthly at Friends Center in the evening.