Interfaith Imperatives for Climate Action

Collage of Speakers

Date and Time

Sunday, April 18, 2021 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM


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This is a Webinar style event. A Zoom link with be email to those who register on the day of the event. 


The Kaufman Interfaith Institute will be offering a virtual adaptation of the Grand Dialogue conference. After our 2020 Grand Dialogue coinciding with Earth Day 50 was cancelled due to COVID-19, we are revisiting its theme as part of our Year of Interfaith Healing, focusing on “Healing our Earth.” 

This event will explore how faith or values from various traditions prompt action towards addressing our climate crisis. In the spirit of interfaith representation, this event will offer two dialogue session in which individuals share with one another motivations and approaches for this necessary work. Panelists will offer wisdom out of their traditions and work around climate change with strategies for solidarity, adaptation, and mitigation. 

Interfaith Imperatives for Climate Action

A Two-Part Panel Discussion

Sunday, April 18, 2021

2-4 pm

  • How Does Your Faith or Values Inform Climate Action?
    • The Rev. Nurya Love Parish - Executive Director, Plainsong Farm & Ministry and Rector, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church
      • Raised in an agnostic family in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Rev. Nurya Love Parish became a Christian in her twenties while preparing for Unitarian Universalist ministry at Harvard Divinity School. While serving Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids as an associate pastor, she discovered the Episcopal Church's practices of prayer and governance. She sought reordination in the Episcopal Church, where she has been a priest for a decade. She began work as the founding Executive Director of Plainsong Farm & Ministry in 2015 in response to a call from God and a hope for the future of the planet and the church, adding ministry with Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in 2017.
    • Huda Alkaff - Founder and Director, Wisconsin Green Muslims
      • Huda Alkaff is an ecologist, environmental educator, and the founder and director of Wisconsin Green Muslims, a grassroots environmental justice group formed in 2005 to connect faith, environmental justice, sustainability, and healing through education and service. For over two decades, Huda advocates for environmental justice, initiating Muslim and interfaith programs on energy and water conservation. She coordinates Wisconsin Faith Communities for Equitable Solar reaching more than 5,000 people from 18 different faith traditions, spiritualities and various backgrounds. Huda received recognitions from the 2015 White House Champions of Change for Faith Climate Justice Leaders by President Obama, the 2016 Sierra Club Great Waters group Environmental Hero of the Year, the 2017 Environment America’s Voices for 100 percent Renewable Energy, and the 2018 Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education Eco-Justice Award.
    • Frank Ettawageshik - President of the Association On American Indian Affairs
      • Frank Ettawageshik lives in Harbor Springs, Michigan, with his wife Rochelle.  He served in tribal elected office for sixteen years, fourteen as the Tribal Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Harbor Springs, Michigan. He is the Executive Director of the United Tribes of Michigan. He also serves on several non-profit boards including as President of the Association on American Indian Affairs, the oldest non-profit organization serving Indian Country.
    • Gopal D. Patel - Co-Founder and Director, Bhumi Global
      • Gopal D. Patel has been a faith-based environmental activist, campaigner and consultant for over 10 years, working in India, East Africa, Europe and North America. A recognized global leader in the religious environmental movement, he works regularly with religious and spiritual communities in addressing our current environmental crises. Gopal has been honored for his work by Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, spoken at the White House, and is regularly invited to speak at the UN. He is Co-Founder and Director of Bhumi Global, a non-profit organization that works to educate and mobilize Hindu communities globally for environmental action, and currently serves as an Advisor on Religion and Sustainable Development to the United Nations.
    • Nathaniel Michon - Koyasan Shingon Buddhism
      • Rev. Dr. Nathan Jishin Michon is an ordained Buddhist priest in the Koyasan Shingon tradition of Japan and an interfaith minister and co-director of the interfaith ministry for the Unity and Diversity World Council, based in LA. After receiving an MA in comparative religion from Western Michigan University, he completed an MDiv in Buddhist Chaplaincy at University of the West and a PhD in History and Cultures of Religions at Graduate Theological Union. He is the editor of A Thousand Hands: A Guide to Caring for your Buddhist Community and the forthcoming Refuge in the Storm: Buddhist Voices in Crisis Care, and co-author of the Oxford Encyclopedia entry on "Buddhist Chaplaincy."
  • What Are You Doing for Climate Action?
    • Sarah King - Director, Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Associate Professor, IRIS: Integrative Religious and Intercultural Studies at Grand Valley State University
      • Sarah is interested in the various ways that religion and culture shape people’s relationships to the natural world, particularly in the present moment. Her research has explored these issues in the food system, in Flint, and in the context of Indigenous/settler relations in rural Canada. Before the pandemic, one of her favorite things was being a part of the Interfaith Foodies group at Kaufman.
    • Wren Hack - Director, Hazon Detroit
      • Wren has been working as Director of Hazon Detroit for almost 3 years.  She loves working with her team in  that it blends her love for Judaism, her talent for active community collaboration, and her passion for living sustainably. She grew up on a small animal farm in Southeastern Massachusetts where chickens and turkeys roamed free, and the woods, lakes, and cranberry bogs were her first playgrounds. She learned to organic farm between the pine trees and has continued the practice for over 30 years. Hence, coming to Hazon completes a life circle. She sharpened her horticultural instincts while managing greenhouses, and her love of natural healing was fostered in the health food industry and honed while raising her children, Maggie and Aaron.
    • Cybelle Shattuck - Hope for Creation, Southwest Michigan Chapter of Michigan Interfaith Power and Light
      • Cybelle Shattuck teaches at Western Michigan University, where she has a joint position in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Comparative Religion. Her book, Faith, Hope, and Sustainability: The Greening of US Faith Communities (to be published in June 2021 by SUNY) describes the experiences of 15 congregations that made earth care a significant part of their ministry work. Cybelle worked with Michigan Interfaith Power and Light to develop Stewards of Hope workshops that facilitate congregational efforts to form green teams and put faith into action to care for the environment. She is also a founding member of Hope for Creation, a grassroots coalition for people of faith in the Kalamazoo area who support climate action in their congregations and the wider community.
    • Hannah Huggett - Sunrise Movement
      • My name is Hannah Huggett (they/them). I love nature, writing, music, and people: my relationships to these, and to myself, have taught me the most in life. My central interest is in climate and racial justice as a youth leader of my community’s Sunrise Movement chapter. I believe all theories must be questioned, and will often be pulverized by the demands of life, but that striving toward human unity is a constant goal which we can achieve by working toward a compassionate model of love and justice. 

Registration is free but required. 

In lieu of an in-person conference, the Kaufman Institute is offering a series of spaces throughout the month that amplify wisdom, insights, and work pertaining to environmental action from numerous traditions and organizations. Be sure to check out our full list of Grand Dialogue events

This event also appears on the main events calendar tagged as action, climate, environment, interfaith, multifaith, and secular.


Kaufman Interfaith Institute

(616) 331-5702


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Page last modified March 24, 2021