On Tuesday, May 17, Interfaith America and The Center for Earth Ethics hosted Black Interfaith in the Time of Climate Crisis, a conversation about the crucial role of Black faith leaders and spiritual traditions in the environmental justice movement and the unique challenges climate change poses to Black communities.

Former Vice President Al Gore and author and consultant Ibrahim Abdul-Matin offered keynote addresses at the event at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.  

The event was co-sponsored by the Black Interfaith Project at Interfaith America and The Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Following remarks by Gore and Abdul-Matin, the Rev. Alexis Vaughan of Interfaith America lead a panel discussion with Karenna Gore of The Center for Earth Ethics; William J Barber III of The Climate Reality Project; Pamela Ayo Yetunde, author of “Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation and Freedom;“ and Crystal Cavalier-Keck, co-founder of Seven Directions of Service, a citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation in Burlington, North Carolina, and Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee for the NAACP. 

Resources, inspiration from a range of traditions and ideas for action can be found in the Black Interfaith in the Time of Climate Crisis Toolkit. From a Catholic community in Louisiana fighting to keep chemical plants out of their neighborhood, to faith leaders in Charlotte demanding divestment in fossil fuels, to a transformational network of church-based gardens, Black faith communities across the U.S. are leading efforts to respond to the climate crisis.  

Check out these fantastic Interfaith America Magazine articles and resources on Interfaith America’s Black Interfaith Project and climate work: