Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sound Cimate Policies: a Step Towards Racial Equality

Sound climate policies are urgently needed to help save lives and promote social justice. Policies that reduce harmful emissions and help poor and disadvantaged communities adapt to climate change are not only smart, but essential to building a world with liberty, equality, and justice for all.

In fact, the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative (EJCC) recently released a report analyzing the ways in which African Americans will be disproportionately affected by global warming. The report finds that:

-global warming amplifies nearly all existing inequalities

-sound global warming policy is also economic and racial justice policy

-climate policies that best serve African Americans also best serve a just and strong United States

-climate policies that best serve African Americans and other disproportionately affected communities also best serve global economic and environmental justice

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Don't "Go it Alone", Come to Our Meetings!

Solving our poverty and climate crises isn't easy. Fortunately, nobody has to do it alone. The Iowa Oxfam Action Corps meets every month in Ames and in Des Moines. Meetings are where we plan our next actions, review the vision for our organization, and support each other in our efforts to make the world a better place. Our next meeting will be in Ames on August 19th. The next meeting in Des Moines will be during the third week of September.

A summary of our recent meeting in Des Moines follows:

Vision: We envision ourselves as an organization that draws connections between poverty and the injustice of climate change. We want to focus on education and empowerment of Iowans to take action for climate justice, and we will advocate for the rights of those who are disempowered.

Online Tools: We like the flexibility of for scheduling our meetings. We want to use a zoho group for online conversation between meetings. Email us if you would like an invitation to join.

Upcoming Events:
1) We are scheduling a meeting with the staff of both of our Iowa senators during the last week of August or the first week of September.
2)There will be an opportunity to help run a table at the Downtown Farmers' Market on September 27th. (See our previous post)
3)There is a big event being planned with the League of Women Voters on November 13th. We will show our new movie: "Sisters on the Planet" and bring in a speaker who has been to Bangladesh.

Oxfam: Coming to a Farmers' Market Near You

Part of building a movement for climate justice is connecting with curious and concerned people and inviting them to learn and to act. Members of the Iowa Oxfam Action Corps are actively reaching out at a variety of venues, from concerts to conferences to the Iowa State Fair. Many of our best connections have been made at Central Iowa farmers' markets.

Basically, we set up a table of information alongside local farmers and craftspeople at the market. As market patrons pass by, we invite them to learn more about Oxfam and our work solving poverty and climate change. If they are interested, we invite them to sign our climate petition or join our listserv to hear about upcoming actions. The response is usually positive; as we exchange stories and information with passers-by. Not everyone wants to sign up right away, but most people appreciate the chance to learn about our work and to lend us their persepctives on our issues.

To help further our mission of empowering Iowans to make a difference for those facing poverty and social injustice, we are planning to be at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market on August 30th and again on September 29th. Come and visit us!