Successful Strategies for Environmental Justice

Friday, April 3, 2009

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth, 835 West College St., Duluth MN

1:30 – 4:30 (optional tour of the Duluth Congregation’s Green Sanctuary building at 1:00)

When you are making your travel arrangements to go to the Prairie Star District Annual Conference, April 3–5, 2009, in Duluth, plan to arrive in time to attend the Social Justice Pre-Conference Workshop on Friday afternoon.

Social Justice Workshop Printable Flyer

Workshop Description

Panel members will describe successful strategies and actions that have led to local, national, and international successes in environmental justice issues

Breakout sessions will provided for networking opportunities, in-depth discussion, and resources to take back to local congregations.

During breakout sessions connect with others in Prairie Star’s eight-state district (Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas) and discuss ways to effectively leverage our voice and power to improve environmental policy at all levels. Find out how local actions have national and international impacts. You’ll come away with resources, tools, and materials as well as connections to others who share your environmental interests and concerns.


1:00 Optional tour of Green Sanctuary church
1:30–2:45 Panel
3:00–3:50 Breakout sessions
4:00–4:30 Wrap up and inspirational water ritual

Panel members

Dr. Greg Chester Educator, author, and environmental activist currently working to stop a coal plant in northern Minnesota

Greg, a resident of Cass Lake, MN, has long been promoting a greener way, not only in his own life, but in his community and globally. Among the issues he has been promoting in Minnesota are renewable energy, especially wind power, plus the reduction and eventual elimination of coal as a source of electrical energy. His concerns are global warming, as well as the dangerous pollutants that harm us and our children. He has worked on his own and others homes to make them more energy efficient. Greg has also been actively involved for decades on forestry issues, encouraging the preservation of old growth and sustainable systems and acting to minimize clear cutting and pesticide spraying.

He earned his doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota and has taught at Bemidji State University, the Leech Lake Tribal College and other colleges and universities. He has written a book and several peer reviewed articles on history and communication. He has traveled widely and spoken with people of many countries, including traditional elders of Indigenous nations, to learn their perspectives.

Patricia A. Jones, JD, LLM Environmental Justice program manager at UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee)

Patricia manages a grant-making program on the human right to water in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Prior to working with UUSC, Patricia worked on the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Science and Policy’s Legal Assessment Model for resolving conflicts over transboundary water resources. She co-published in UNESCO’s technical paper series a report based on three case studies: the Eastern Mountain Aquifer in Palestine, the Mekong/Lancang Jiang upstream in China, and the Inkomati, downstream in Mozambique. Patricia holds a Masters of Law and is a candidate for a PhD in international water law. She earned her JD from the Washington College of Law, American University, working for the Centre for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, following eighteen years at El Centro de la Raza, a community based NGO focusing on social justice nationally and US foreign policy in Latin America.

John LaForge Nukewatch Wisconsin

John works on the staff of Nukewatch and edits its quarterly newsletter. His articles on nuclear weapons, reactors and militarism have appeared in Z magazine, the Progressive, Earth Island Journal, the Nonviolent Activist, the New Internationalist and on the opinion pages of the Miami Herald and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In August 2005 and October 2002, Z magazine published his feature articles on uranium weapons.

In 2004, John and three others were found not guilty of trespass after arguing that DU weapons (produced in Minneapolis) are illegal to possess or use. His analysis of the legal status of uranium weapons was published in The Trojan Horses of Nuclear War, the proceedings of the World Uranium Weapons Conference 2003 in Hamburg, Germany.

Nukewatch is a Wisconsin-based environmental and peace action group, dedicated to the abolition of nuclear power and weapons. Nukewatch brings critical attention to the locations, movements, dangers, and the politics of nuclear weapons and radioactive wastes. Staff and volunteers advocate Gandhian nonviolence in education and action, and report on nuclear issues.


Registration for this workshop is $5 if paid at the same time as your PSD Annual Conference registration fee $10 if you are not attending the Annual Conference $10 if paid at the door (At the door registration will be possible if room is still available.) Registration If you are attending the Annual Conference, select “Pre-Conference Workshop” on either the online or paper Annual Conference registration form. If you are not attending the Conference, download and print this Registration Form to mail with a check. This form must be received by March 30, 2009.

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