Summit Workshops are meant to equip you for meaningful action. You can choose two workshops to attend between 3:00-5:30pm. This is a great chance to network with other Creation care champions and learn from credible community partners about the issues relevant to our shared work.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM            Workshop Rotation 1 (Pick 1)

How Islamic Teachings Inform Earth Care

Led by Kibwe Lebna of the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resilience, participants will learn what the Quran and other Islamic teachings teach us about Earth Care. Lebna is the Recycling and Diversion Education Specialist for the city of Atlanta and has dedicated more than 20 years towards encouraging change through sustainable efforts.

To Tend or To Rule: Tensions in Biblical Texts on our Relationship with our Environment
The Temple’s own Rabbi Lydia Medwin will lead a workshop about Jewish teachings and Creation care. Her passion for religious travel and education will help spark joy and passion for Earth care in 2019.  Rabbi Medwin was ordained in 2010 on the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College (HUC) and serves as The Temple’s Director of Congregational Engagement and Outreach. 

EJ: Justice = Love for My Neighbor
Environmental Justice is defined by the EPA as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” Alabama IPL’s Rev. Michael Malcom and GIPL’s Tina Spencer-Smith will co-lead an interactive workshop on the importance of environmental justice and how we, as people of faith, can advocate for this dimension of Creation Care. Rev. Malcom is Senior Pastor at Rush Memorial Congregational UCC. He serves as the Environmental Justice Representative for the South East Conference of the United Church of Christ. He is also the Founding Executive Director of Martha’s Corner and The People’s Justice Council, which specializes in education efforts for Human Services, Environmental Justice and Advocacy.  Ms. Spencer-Smith serves on GIPL’s Advisory Council and as a Ministry Consultant for the organization. Tina holds a Master in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver and a Certificate of Theology from The Interdenominational Theological Center, and is currently a Master of Divinity degree candidate at Candler School of Theology. She is the founder of Eco Geo Solutions, LLC, a sustainability consulting firm.

Youth Engagement: One More Generation
You have your Green Team set, but how do you engage youth in your projects and efforts? Join Co-Founders (and brother and sister!), Carter and Olivia Ries to discuss the importance of youth engaging in Creation care, as they truly are the next generation of sustainers. The Ries have a unique perspective on environmental and animal conservation. They believe that children have the power to solve the issues of endangered species and threats to the environment. Carter’s interests lie in conservation and he hopes to someday be a marine biologist and an inventor. Olivia has always known that she was destined to help animals and she will, without a doubt, someday be a veterinarian.

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM            Workshop Rotation 2 (Pick 1)

Develop your Congregation’s Super Power: Green Team 101
You know that you have some “green friends” in the pews, but how do you corral them for meaningful action together on behalf of your congregation? Learn how to establish or re-energize your congregation’s green team or sustainability committee. From recruiting volunteers and staff support to establishing a meaningful policy that informs congregants about sustainability commitments, you’ll learn best practices for maintaining a thriving Creation care program for your community of faith. Led by GIPL’s Program Director, Codi Norred. Codi comes to GIPL with an array of experiences in local, national, and international non-profit and human rights organizations as well as a deep passion for environmental stewardship. He has been involved with environmental justice campaigns and the philosophy of sustainability since college. He holds a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology (Emory University).

Let Your Light Shine: Be Solar Wise
Join Samantha Leonard, the Director of Sustainability for Cherry Street Energy, a renewable energy company helping to transform Georgia’s energy marketplace, for an informative workshop on how to go solar–whether you are considering solar for the campus of your faith community or for your personal home. Samantha focuses on the company’s environmental and social impact goals and works to partner with local communities and organizations to increase access.  She holds Masters in Environmental and Sustainability Management at Harvard University Extension School, specializing in corporate responsibility strategy. GIPL Board member, Shan Arora, Director of the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech, will offer incite on going solar as well!

#KnowYourPower: Eco-Advocacy 101
Discuss Plant Vogtle, the problem with coal ash, and what you, as people of faith, can do to advocate against these issues, with attorneys from GIPL partner, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC).  Kurt Ebersbach is a Senior Attorney at SELC and is a graduate of University of Georgia School of Law. His priority projects include the Plant Vogtle Expansion, Solar Initiatives, Coal Ash, and Clean Power Plan. April Lipscomb is a staff attorney at SELC where her priority projects include Fracking in the Southeast, Georgia Coastal Initiatives, Georgia Water Coalition, and Tri-State Water Wars (AL, FL, and GA).  She is a graduate of University of Denver Law School.  Chandra Brown is the owner of Influence Advocacy, LLC and works as an independent contractor in the online media and communications industry.  She is a frequent collaborator with SELC and GIPL, having formerly served as the Executive Director of the Canoochee and Ogeechee Riverkeeper organizations.   

Energy Equity 101 & the Plan for Atlanta
Chandra Farley joined the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) in January 2018 as the Just Energy Director. In this role, Chandra develops local and regional strategies to advance energy equity through coalition building, leadership development and community engagement. Understanding the equity impacts of the sourcing and commodification of power generation is critical for low-income, marginalized communities. Wan Smith is an Organizer and Planning Strategist who works with small businesses, faith communities and non-profits to ensure their programs and services connect with the people they seek to assist. She currently serves as the Just Energy Organizer for the Partnership for Southern Equity, where she leads coalition building and human-to-human education efforts to democratize rural electric co-ops. Wan formerly led training and development in a number of different industries and has served as an activist/organizer for Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, Save Darfur post card campaign, NABVETS (National Associations for Black Veterans), Empowering Ourselves Now, and an advocate for various marginalized communities in Atlanta.  Chinelo Cary Tyler was a religious study major at the historically black institution Morehouse College. This election cycle Chinelo worked as a regional field organizer on Stacey Abrams and the Democratic Party of Georgia’s campaign for Governor. Currently, he is the Just Student Energy Organizer for The Partnership for Southern Equity. His role involves galvanizing young leaders to educate and engage low-income, communities of color about the sourcing and commodification of power generation in Georgia.

This workshop is sponsored by Cherry Street Energy