The follow-up webinar for the scientists speakers bureau to faith communities will be held Tuesday, March 26, tentatively slotted for noon, Eastern time. Stay tuned for further information in the coming weeks. Speakers will include Cassandra Carmichael (National Council of Churches EcoJustice Programs Director, hosting), and Alexei Laushkin (Evangelical Environmental Network, Sr. Communications Director).
Gregory E. Hitzhusen, MDiv, PhD
School of Environment and Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
Workshop 8941: Launching A Scientists’ Speakers Bureau for Outreach to Faith and Justice Communities
Slot: Thursday, August 8, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
Description: This session builds on previous Ecological Society of America (ESA) annual meeting sessions to advance the implementation of a national speakers bureau in partnership with national faith bodies and community-based justice organizations. With 83% of the American public (including 71% of ESA members surveyed) claiming membership in over 300,000 congregations, religious organizations and their partners are uniquely positioned to engage citizens in ecological issues. Developing ecologically fruitful collaboration between scientists and these communities can help bridge historic divides and provide sound science to shape sustainable ecosystem futures. Over the past year, participants from 2011 and 2012 ESA meeting speakers bureau workshops have piloted diverse outreach efforts to faith communities nationwide, tracked their impact, and shared outcomes through ongoing networking conference calls and webinars. We will review the successes and challenges of ESA members’ outreach to date, highlight the analysis of these outreach approaches, and summarize the commitments of partner organizations to help formally launch the speakers bureau. We will also address remaining issues related to implementing the speakers bureau, and discuss and formulate recommendations for ESA and our partners. Speakers from partner organizations (e.g. Interfaith Power and Light, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Union of Concerned Scientists) will highlight collaborators’ perspectives in this emerging dialogue between ecologists and a range of communities, and describe key examples of outreach that can be replicated. All ESA attendees interested in outreach to faith and justice communities are encouraged to participate, add to the discussion, or learn how to get involved in similar outreach.
Summary: Organizing session and overview of successful pilot projects as we implement a speakers bureau to provide sound science and timely ecological information to local communities and influential social organizations, including faith and EJ-impacted communities. Contribute to the speakers network as we discuss outreach results, and finalize recommendations for national launch.