Multi-faith pilgrims on a moral high road unified to honor God’s creation at the Peoples Climate March last month on the National Mall. The event, which came as a crescendo in a week of climate action, drew 200,000 people from every state, with broad support from more than 400 sister marches in the U.S. and around the world.
Interfaith Power & Light was represented by more than 40 state affiliate groups. NCIPL led North Carolinians as part of the “Keepers of Faith” contingent. We expressed our deep concern from our moral, ethical, and spiritual perspectives about the devastation of God’s planet and people, particularly the poor and most vulnerable.
“The current Congress and the administration have taken regressive, destructive positions on climate change, denying basic climate science, proposing policies that will harm human health, eliminate green jobs, and increase greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, national coordinator of the PCM faith contingent and executive director of GreenFaith, a global interfaith coalition for the environment. “This is exactly the wrong direction, and it is sinful.”
“Over the last seven years, I have spoken to thousands of people in local congregations,” said Joelle Novey, director of Interfaith Power & Light of DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia, and coordinator of local faith organizing for the March. “In every one of those congregations, good folks understand that burning fossil fuels is pouring heat-trapping climate pollution into our skies, causing our earth to warm, harming our neighbors and all Creation — and that we are called to respond.”
Community organizer and pastor Leo Woodberry made the trip from Florence, South Carolina with 100 community and church members from Kingdom Living Temple, and the local high school choir. “We came to Washington, DC, because as people of color and faith, we have a moral obligation to advocate for those who will be most harmed by the administration’s proposed budget cuts.”
“Climate justice is one of the great ethical, social, and humanitarian challenges of our time and so our faith impels us to act,” says Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network, which led organizing of the Catholic community for the March. “To allow so many to suffer, to stand by and to watch as the planet that has sustained us for so long struggles to survive, is inarguably immoral.”
The mass demonstration encircled the White House grounds for a silent sit-in as we all beat our hands to our chests in a unified heartbeat followed by breaking collectively into a wave of sound as thousands of people chanted “The seas are rising, and so are we!”
The People’s Climate March was a momentous event that we hope will further inspire those of us already involved and be an example to others that this movement is here, passionate, and diverse. And finally, thanks to you, NCIPL’s amazing supporters, for motivating us to be a part of this March and supporting all the work we do here in NC. We couldn’t do it without you!