Social Justice

Climate March, New York

Environment

CCW is a Level 1 green church and has, for many years, taken an active interest in the environment and climate change. We have been honored to host a community event featuring environmentalist Bill McKibben, and have also invited climate activists Jim Antal and Wen Stephenson to our pulpit.  Members of CCW participated in the People’s Climate March in New York City, and one of our members participates in the Environmental Ministries of the Southern New England UCC.  Last year we hosted a public discussion for people from different towns and faith communities led by Rev Jim Antal, author of ‘Climate Church, Climate World’.


Let’s Talk” Series

Painfully aware that the hyper-partisan divisions within our country and community make it difficult to talk with our neighbors about critically important social issues, the congregation has taken upon itself to host a series of forums to which people from metro-west are invited to discuss difficult social issues in a safe and honest manner.  The subjects we initially chose to explore are racial and environmental justice in America.  If these forums prove to be useful and lead to positive action, this series may be expanded to address other topics in the future.

The next forum was scheduled for September 18.    Unfortunately, this conversation with the Rev. Mariama White Hammond on the social justice ramifications of climate change had to be postponed by the COVID-19 crisis.  As soon as a new date has been established, it will be posted on the Events page.  Please watch for more information and join us for this very important and timely discussion.

Past Forum Topics

Unearthing the Root of Racism: A Conversation with Dr. Vincent Rougeau

was held on November 23, 2019

We recognize that our country was built upon bondage, discrimination and racial privilege.  Despite generations of struggle, and after sweeping changes in law, culture and individual beliefs, we continue to see profound racial disparities in employment, health, justice, education, housing, wealth and life expectancy.  Dr Vincent Rougeau, Dean of the Boston College Law School led a conversation on the hidden face of racism in America.  We explored what if feels like to be a black man growing up in a world that is frightened by you just because of the color of your skin;  what it takes for a black person to succeed in the academic world, or professional fields like the law; and the contrast of this experience with that of white people, who have “privilege” just by being white.

Sustainable Values in a Climate Crisis World  

was held April 28, 2019

Jim Antal, the former Massachusetts Conference Minister for the United Church of Christ, and author of the book, Climate Church, Climate World, visited Weston in April 2019 and let a discussion on ways our shared values, which have evolved over centuries and were taught to us from our childhood, will have to be rethought and reworked to accommodate a sustainable lifestyle for the future.  Change like this is extraordinarily difficult to accomplish, but also absolutely essential to save our environment.  Jim believes that institutions like churches, whose role it is to help people understand what is fundamentally valuable in their lives, are essential voices in articulating a new climate friendly value system for our communities, state and country.

Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North 

was held February 3, 2019

James DeWolf Perry, a member of the DeWolf family, a prominent slave trading family in Rhode Island in the late eighteenth century, came to Weston to lead a discussion on the role of Northerners in the promotion of the slave trade, and the advantages this has afforded all white Americans ever since.  The discussion revolved around a PBS documentary about ten DeWolf family members, who retraced the triangle trade from Bristol, Rhode Island, to Ghana where the slaves were purchased, to sugar plantations in Cube where the slaves worked to produce the sugar and Rum that was sold in New England to finance the trade. This conversation awakened many of us to our role, albeit unintentional, in the legacy of racism and white privilege in America today.

Join us for our next Let’s Talk!