Schools: Challenges of Middle East Dialogue
27 / 11 / 23
24 / 04 / 23
The Faith and Belief Forum’s Green Team work to grow climate justice awareness and action internally and among our organisation’s networks, as well as to highlight the important work happening to protect the environment across faith and belief communities. This Earth Day, we would like you to get to know us a little better and to highlight the importance of interfaith within the environmental movement.
I am the programmes coordinator for our work in the North West at F&BF. I have always had a passion for wildlife and the environment, and it’s actually what my background is in, having studied wildlife conservation at undergrad and human rights & environmental law for my masters. Although I identify as non-religious, I credit this passion to my core values and beliefs as a person. Growing up, I had a great love for animals and have been vegetarian for as long as I can remember; I was also instilled with a lot of respect and desire to care for nature by my parents. I grew up by the sea and neighbouring the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks, and so have always spent a lot of time in and around nature out on the beach or on walks, which strengthened my relationship with the environment.
My particular area interest is the intersection between the environmental crisis and other issues such as poverty, racism and injustice. I don’t believe we can fix the climate crisis without also addressing all the other inequalities that exist within our current society. I also believe it is essential to pursue climate justice as well as diversify the environmental movement to make it more inclusive for, and amplify the voices of, marginalised groups, indigenous peoples, and working-class people, who are the ones most affected by the climate crisis. This is why I think that interfaith can have a big part to play in the future of the environmental movement.
I am Senior Programmes Coordinator at F&BF working on our workplace and community programmes. I grew up in a vegetarian household and from a young age felt a strong connection to animals and the natural world. Some of my favourite childhood memories are spending time with animals at home and in our local community with family and friends. One of the reasons I loved Religious Studies at school was that it was a space for discussing ethical issues we felt passionate about, and for me that meant animal rights and the environment. I also loved learning about the history of revering nature and protecting wildlife across cultures and traditions, something which brings me hope to this day.
I think the interfaith movement has an important role to play in connecting and bringing new people into the environmental movement. Interfaith spaces enable us to get in touch with our core values and beliefs, gain a deeper understanding of others’ perspectives and concerns, and to work together to spark creative thinking and take shared action. Organisations like Faith for the Climate are already doing brilliant work bringing faith and belief groups together to take climate action in the UK.
What part can interfaith play in the environmental movement?
The environmental crisis affects us all, albeit not equally, and is something we should all be taking action on in our own ways. It is vital that we prioritise coming together as local, national and global interfaith communities to discuss, learn, and to act for the earth.
Listen to our interfaith podcast for Earth Day, featuring speakers from different backgrounds share their connections to nature and the environment, concepts from their traditions, what activism looks like in their lives, and hopes for the future.