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March Newsletter

March is here. There is much to do. And much to pray for. At MNIPL, we are outraged by the spike in hate crimes and threats against our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters. We stand in support and solidarity with the victims of these crimes, and call on everyone to stand up, speak up, and reach out to each other with love, compassion, tolerance and extravagant welcome. We hope you’ll join us in breaking bread together this season during our Interfaith Iftar and Environmental Ancestry Story Circles, and as we collectively take action during our Interfaith Climate Action Week.

Connected to this call for unity is a desire to work together at the intersections of our justice movements with a shared vision of a transformed world. Check out this article from our movement friend Chris Moore-Backman for more on a vision for our movement.  And read on to find ways to engage in this important and intersectional work.            

We’ve heard that some of you would like a version of the newsletter that can be easily printed. Click here to download a printer friendly PDF version.

 

Action Opportunities

Faith Climate Action Week is coming up April 17th-23rd, the week surrounding Earth Day. Around the country, tens of thousands of faith communities will be focusing on Earth Justice. To prepare for a powerful week, join MNIPL and our partners on March 23rd from 6:30-8:30 pm at Hennepin United Methodist Church in Minneapolis to explore ways to deepen the organizing happening in your community.  Ask your faith leaders if they will be preaching on Earth Justice, garner support on key policy initiatives, and dive into practical solutions.  Share your ideas and learn from others on the 23rd! 

Join our Policy Rapid Response Team This was a busy week at the State Capitol.  In addition to other things:
Over 200 youth, including MNIPL’s youth leadership team, gathered for a youth lobby day.  Click here to hear what 15 year old Hafsa Islam had to say to the Governor.

  • We were excited to see a bipartisan bill that will set a renewable energy goal of 50% by 2030.  

  • The House voted to eliminate the Environmental Quality Board (we are opposed).

  • Dayton signed a bill authorizing the construction of a natural gas plant in Becker, MN. We are opposed and are still collecting signatures that will have the Governor veto two other bad bills. Read what our partner, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, has to say.
  • We saw a preemption bill that is a full scale assault on the ability of local governments to create laws that will protect people and the environment.  

Is your head spinning? Ours are. We need some good folks able to help us with research, testimony, in district meetings, and more. Are you willing to jump in when you are most needed? Click here to join our rapid response team.

People’s Climate March 
At the end of the first 100 days of this new administration, April 29th, we will march on Washington. Similar to the 2014 People’s Climate March in NYC, we will gather to send a global call to action. We will march for our families, our air, our water, and our land. We will march for clean energy jobs and justice. In the metro? Get your bus ticket! In Greater MN? Fill out this interest form and if we get enough interest we will charter a bus from your town! There will also be a strong presence at local solidarity marches (Science March on the April 22nd; People’s Climate March on April 29th). Email claire@mnipl.org to get involved with the planning. 

 

Volunteer with MNIPL 
Everyone has an important role to play in building the climate movement. What’s yours? Join one of our volunteer-led action teams, help build our legislative response team, support campers at All in the Circle Creative Arts & Nature Camp, or help out in the Gandhi Mahal Interfaith Garden. The possibilities are endless. Fill out this quick form and we’ll be in touch to find the right volunteer role for you!

 

 

Events

Bemidji

Meeting on Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline Border Crossing
On March 7th, the U.S. State Department will hold the only public meeting in the country on a proposed international tar sands pipeline expansion, which would increase the flow of the world's dirtiest oil across the Mississippi River and through the tribal territory and wild rice beds of northern Minnesota. Buses will be leaving from Minneapolis and Duluth. Find more details here.

Twin Cities

Youth Be the Spark
May 20th, St Croix River. Join a community of youth leading the interfaith community to action on creating a just and sustainable future for all.  We will explore the natural world through a fun day of paddling on the St Croix River with its calm waters and beautiful cliffs.  We’ll stop for lunch on an island with a sandy beach to consider goals, strategies, and actions we can take together! Register here. Contact erin@mnipl.org with questions.


Before the Flood Showing

March 25th, 1pm, St Thomas School Auditorium. Join our partners at St Thomas for a showing of Before the Flood, which follows Leonardo DiCaprio as he travels around the globe to witness first hand the devastating effects of climate change and what can be done to solve it. The showing will be followed with a discussion led by Dr. Michael Dockry (US Forest Service Research Forester, Adjunct Assistant Professor UMN Forestry and American Indian Studies). Check out the flyer for all the details.


Environmental Ancestry Story Circle

April 8th, 1 pm-3:30 pm, Gandhi Mahal Restaurant. MNIPL is hosting a new series of storytelling circles in Muslim spaces, open to the interfaith community to celebrate unique family and environmental ancestries. These circles will be hosted by Muslim youth from the MNIPL Youth Leadership Team and will highlight stories the youth will collect in interviews with their family members about their family history.

 

Arrowhead Regional Network

Citizen Utility Board public presentation on the Minnesota Power rate increase proposal and your utility bills
Tuesday, March 21st, First United Methodist Church. Attend a presentation at either 1 pm or 6:30 pm regarding utility bill changes coming to the Northland and how that will affect residents and small business, with a particular focus on churches.  Individual utility bill counseling from 2-5pm. The MNIPL Arrowhead Network is cosponsoring with NE MN Citizen’s Federation and Citizens Utility Board (CUB).

“Before the Flood” film w/follow-up discussion and action steps
Thursday, March 23rd, Teatro Zuccone, 7-9pm. “A riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent the disruption of life on our planet.”  

Arrowhead Network Leadership Meeting
Tuesday, March 28th, UUCD, 7-8:30 pm. Join as we strategize and plan our spring campaigns to take action on climate change. Contact bretpence@mnipl.org for more info. 


River Prairie Regional Network

Public Forum on Solar
Join us for a public forum to discuss the solar options available to St Peter residents. Our MNIPL River Prairie Network Leadership team has been working with the St Peter City Council to ensure that solar made available is truly “community solar” created through a community process, based in St Peter, and used to build equity and access in our community. We also want to ensure that those who choose to install solar on their homes and businesses aren’t penalized. Save the date for this important conversation on Tuesday, March 21st, 6:30 pm. Details to follow, contact riverprairienetwork@mnipl.org for more info.



Programs for Your Faith Community


It’s not too late to be a community connector!

We are launching our new Movement Builder Program in 2017 to scale up our organizing and support faith communities in their work on climate change. We already have more than 100 communities represented and are looking for folks in faith communities across the state to become Community Connectors, serving as a liaison between MNIPL and their congregation in order to support and inspire climate action in their community. Email erin@mnipl.org to get involved.


All in the Circle: Creative Arts & Nature Camps

We are delighted to announce three different All in the Circle Camp experiences for Summer 2017. This summer we are offering a Family Camp Experience, Middle & High School overnight experience, and All in the Circle Nature Camp for 1-6 graders. Tuition will be determined according to number of interested campers.  A formal registration form will be forthcoming.  Please indicate your interest ASAP as these camps promise to fill up fast!


Get involved with the Gandhi Mahal Interfaith Garden

Tuesday, March 28th 6:30-8:30 pm at Gandhi Mahal. Join us for our very first interfaith garden community meeting! We’ll be starting seeds, presenting a lightning talk on regenerative agriculture, and asking for your ideas on how we can grow together this season! Can’t make it on the 28th? Sign up yourself or a group from your faith community to volunteer at the garden this summer. Or, learn more by watching our new video, Growing Together, or listening to Claire & Ruhel’s  conversation on food justice with Rabbi Alan Shavit-Lonstein on his interfaith podcast, ‘By The Rivers.’

Youth Leadership Team
We have an exciting year planned and would love for your youth to join us as we bring climate action to other faith communities and engage their youth. We are also launching a Youth Internship Program to support youth in organizing powerful action in their faith community. Email erin@mnipl.org if you’re interested in engaging your youth in climate action.


Is Your Faith Community Interested in Solar?
MNIPL is pleased to sponsor three programs that provide opportunities for faith communities to support the fast-growing climate justice movement. MNIPL will partner with your community to understand the benefits of participating in a Community Solar Gardens or exploring on-site congregational or residential solar. Many faith communities -- or even community members themselves who are interested in solar for their homes -- will benefit from options that require zero or minimal upfront investment to become a producer of solar energy. Is your faith community interested in understanding its options for solar? Contact MNIPL to schedule a presentation and Q&A session.