Copy
View this email in your browser

Dear Friends,

Spring greetings to you all!

We have lots of exciting updates for you this month, including the launch of our new resource to take action for climate justice, workshops to prepare for the UN climate talks (COP26) and the second COP26 Coalition Global Gathering. Many of these updates are about mobilising for the UN climate talks in November. But we are here to help you take climate action with a focus on justice, whether or not that involves mobilising for COP26.

In particular, we have designed our new resource as an exploration of social action – What is it? What forms does it take? How are Quakers engaged in social action? And how might we begin our own social action journey? We hope it will be a resource that is useful within and beyond the Quaker community, and that it can be applied to a wide range of social actions. It was important to us to create a resource that wasn’t just about a moment in time. Because although the UN climate talks are a big moment for climate justice work in the UK this year, they are just that: a moment. Addressing the root causes of climate justice, as Quakers are called to do, will take more than mobilising for the talks.

We are reminded of the testimonies that inform our new Quaker Peace and Social Witness strategy 2021-2025:

Underlying all our work is an attempt to build a divine commonwealth, where peace, equality and truth flourish. Our long-term commitment and focus on building relationships, including with unlikely partners, helps us to listen and learn and to build on collective experience. Though we must act with urgency, we are in it for the long haul, and we will find ways to experience joy and to enhance human capacity for love and connection along the way.

So as the days lengthen, the weather warms and possibilities to be together again increase, we hope you’ll join us to step into action for climate justice and to build our divine commonwealth!

In Friendship,

Rebecca

Rebecca Woo
Campaigns and Advocacy Coordinator
Quaker Peace & Social Witness
020 7663 1107 | rebeccaw@quaker.org.uk 

Updates

Check out our new COP26 action resource!
 
We are very excited to share a new resource with you ‘Taking action for climate justice’. We started working on this over a year ago just before the pandemic began. Furlough and the financial impact of the pandemic delayed our plans, but we were finally able to get back to working on it at the beginning of this year. Our wonderful publications team have now transformed it into a beautiful digitised form and we are really happy to finally be able to share it with you! 
 
The pages have been designed so you can print them out at home. We have also provided some guidance at the beginning to allow you to jump to the sections you are most interested in, although we recommend giving the whole resource a read to get the most out of it!
 
We would really like to hear your thoughts about the resource – please email us at climatejustice@quaker.org.uk to tell us what you think. We will also be doing lots of promotion of the resource over the coming weeks and we would love your help with that. Is there anyone in your networks who might be find the resource useful? Send it their way and help us share it far and wide!

Workshops to prepare for the UN climate talks
 
Curious about the UN climate talks? Wondering how to take action? Join an online workshop for your part of Britain to find out what Quakers are doing and how you can get involved. The workshop will include a presentation covering the UN climate talks 'essentials': What will be decided there? What commitments has the UK made? Will they be a success, and what does that mean? We will also speak about what Quakers in Britain is doing around the UN climate talks, and how you can get involved.
 
We are running the same workshop multiple times between April and June, with each date aimed at specific parts of Britain. This should give you an opportunity to connect with Friends in the same part of Britain as you. However, if you cannot attend on the date scheduled for your region or nation, you are welcome to sign up for a different one. The Scotland session will include Scotland-specific content. Find out when we’ll be near you and register here.

Don’t miss the next COP26 global gathering!
 

Registration is now live for the COP26 Coalition’s second global gathering, From the Ground Up: Take Action Now! It will take place next weekend from 22nd to 25th April 2021.
 
From the Ground Up is a free four day online gathering that will include 24 dedicated sessions focused on some of the key issues facing our movements today: How do we build power in our communities and workplaces for climate justice? How can we mobilise millions of people into taking action to stop fossil fuels extraction? How can we organise to win? Each session will include interactive, participatory opportunities as well as dedicated workshops and presentations lead by activists.
 
We have helped organise a session on faith-based climate action that will take place on Saturday, 24th 10-11:30am, which will include discussions on movement building, direct action, and pilgrimages. Spread the word, and register here now!
Join us for the Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) Spring Sessions
 
QPSW's work draws from the deep spiritual experience of Quakers to build sustained action for peace and justice. For Quakers, this is the meaning of witness – it is living out our faith in the world. Later this month, QPSW will be launching a series of workshops exploring the spiritual roots of this work and asking ‘What can love do’? We’ll also look at working with decision makers, climate and racial justice, peace campaigning, and more.
 
In particular, our team will be co-hosting a session on "A brief story of climate justice: from slavery to now" with the Sanctuary Everywhere programme on Tuesday 25 May 5:30–7pm. The session will explore climate activism and the intersections between climate justice and racial justice. We’d love to see you there!
 
Register your place for this session and others at: QPSW Spring Sessions - What love can do
Spiritual preparation and accompaniment with Woodbrooke
 
As mentioned in our last newsletter, we have joined forces with Woodbrooke to run monthly spiritual preparation calls for the UN climate talks. You can find out more and sign up on Woodbrooke’s website here.
 
Woodbrooke are now also offering spiritual accompaniment for climate activists. Has your Quaker faith inspired you to take action against the climate crisis? Do you sometimes feel spiritually lost, burnt out, or doubt that you are making a difference? If so email Learning@woodbrooke.org.uk to express interest. You can read more Woodbrooke’s offer here

Some home-based ways to take action: online retreats and craftivism
 
Although things are slowly starting to open up, many of us will still be looking for home-based ways to take action in the coming weeks. Here are a few offerings of that nature!
 
Starting on 21 April, Quaker Voluntary Action will be hosting an online retreat ‘Rediscovering home: ecological practises for humanity’. The retreat is an opportunity to encounter ways of responding creatively and positively to the various environmental crises affecting our world – the common home of all living beings. In four weekly sessions, participants will explore how ethics, spirituality and faith can inspire and shape practical change towards a more earth-conscious way of life. To find out more, take a look at the retreat leaflet. The retreat costs £40 to participate although bursaries are available for individuals in low income households. Anyone can join and all are welcome.
 
The following day, 22 April, the Loving Earth Project will be hosting a free craftivism workshop. The workshop is an opportunity to reflect on why you have been making changes in your own life and are calling for more action to be take. To find out more, take a look at the Loving Earth Project website. To book your place and receive the Zoom link, email lovingearthproject@gmail.com.
 
Last but not least, here is a new craftivism initiative that has just been launched called Stitches for Survival. The group aims to make a 1.5 mile long scarf of climate messages to urge negotiators at the UN climate talks to take bold and binding action together. The length of the scarf represents the 1.5°C target in the Paris Agreement. During the conference the group will display it near the SECC conference centre in Glasgow where the talks are taking place. After COP26, the scarf will be repurposed into blankets for refugee communities. Some of the more creative sections will be kept for an exhibition, and be used for ongoing campaigning.

Should the UN climate talks take place this year?
 
You may have seen news stories about the possibility of the UN climate talks being partly or fully held online because of the ongoing pandemic – though the UK government currently says it is still planning for an in-person COP. Civil society organisations are very worried about the prospect of a ‘virtual’ COP, and some have called for the talks to be postponed again if they can’t be made safe and accessible for everyone. It might seem strange for climate campaigners to be calling for postponement – but there are good reasons why an online COP is so problematic. The COP26 Coalition has produced this helpful note about why some organisations are taking this position.

Follow us on Twitter at @EarthEconQuaker
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.


Copyright © 2021 Britain Yearly Meeting, All rights reserved.