Description: New Generations: Climate Justice Pilot Project: February to July 2016 This is a five-month intensive program comprising of a bi-monthly long distance learning course, a two-and-a-half-day face-to-face retreat, and attendance at the Mission u Regional Study Training in Tempe, Arizona, in June 2016. The program will support the integration of young women’s leadership in the area of climate justice into the life of the United Methodist Church and their communities during this intensive training and beyond. Throughout the long distance learning intensive and sequential pre-Mission u meeting, the participants will be guided through a learning experience that will encourage and develop skills to work both within the structures of the church and partner with others outside the church to advance the goals of climate justice. The course consists of three areas of focus: (1) basics: developing theologies of care for the earth and her people; the role of young women in the Climate Justice movement; bringing concepts of climate justice to your own communities; and building fellowship with other young women in the movement; (2) effective solidarity work and organizing; and (3) teaching others about climate justice at Mission u and beyond. The overall goal of this program is to help young women build the skills necessary to teach the Mission u adult climate justice study in 2017 and to become environmental and climate justice actors within the church and their communities. Along the way, the program will also help build institutional conditions in support of this goal. Who: Twelve young women (ages 20 to 35) interested in climate justice advocacy recruited from diverse experiences, communities and contexts throughout the United States. Most will have already demonstrated concern for and/or be working toward climate justice/environmental justice. Candidates must be a part of the United Methodist Church. Why: n UMW and the UMC need a diverse group of young women leaders to take leadership roles in issues of climate justice and beyond. Through this program, which will include participating in the life of the church and community and the experience of teaching the climate justice study in 2017, participants will have a step up on leadership roles within the UMC/UMW. n Climate change and environmental degradation are wreaking havoc upon this earth and her people. Anxiety over this situation has become palpable in this generation. Young women need a way to work with the church on this issue and take advantage of its many resources for the sake of their future and their children’s future. n One of UMW’s four priorities is climate justice. Training a group of climate justice actors will help keep the focus on promoting climate justice education, initiatives and actions at the local, district and conference levels even after Mission u 2017.
How: Carmen Francesco, the climate justice intern and manager of this project, will be facilitating this group using a collaborative model. Throughout the group’s time together, the wisdom and experiences of the participants will be honored. The participants will engage in a collaborative, selforganized learning atmosphere. The work will take multiple forms including but not limited to small group work, whole group work, group devotionals led by participants, lessons and discussions. When and What: February–June 2016: Participants will engage in an intensive five-month program of home study with regular, bi-monthly phone-call check-ins, self-guided readings, some community work with both United Methodist Women leadership and the communities in which participants live, and online distance learning meetings via GoToMeeting; June 20–23: a New Generations retreat/learning experience in Prescott, AZ; June 23–26: attendance at the Mission u Regional Study Training in Tempe, AZ. Goals of the distance learning meetings, consisting of bi-monthly phone conferences/video conference meetings and a two-and-a-half-day retreat/learning experience, include: n Develop deeper understandings of God,