About Us

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Our Vision

People of diverse faiths and spiritualities leading the environmental movement to create healthy, just, and sustainable communities for all.

Our Mission

Empower people of diverse faiths and spiritualities to be leaders in advancing environmental and racial justice, providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities. 

Who We Work With

Faith in Place partners with communities of faith from diverse religious traditions as well as people who identify as spiritual or motivated by justice but don't identify with a specific faith tradition.

 

Our partners and Green Teams (groups of three or more people from a spiritual community or area who join to create healthier communities by advancing environmental and racial justice) represent diverse traditions, including Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Christian churches; Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist denomination Jewish synagogues; Muslim mosques; and Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Ancestral & Tribal Traditions, and Baha’i houses of worship. Find a Green Team near you here

Where We Work

Faith in Place has Outreach Staff supporting communities across Illinois. We are also a proud affiliate of Interfaith Power & Light, a national organization working for environmental justice across the United States. 

Program Areas

We implement programs in our five program areas – Climate Change & EnergySustainable Food & Land UseWater Preservation, Advocacy, and Youth Empowerment – in close collaboration with our 358 faith partners and over 180 Green Teams

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Theory of Change

When people of diverse faith and spiritualities engage with a well-coached Green Team, they are empowered to take action to address environmental and racial injustices within their communities. These actions result in healthier, more equitable, and resilient communities.

 

Organizing Methodology

 

Our 20 plus years of doing this work has taught us that the key to achieving our vision is a well-coached Green Team. Green Teams are groups of three or more people from a spiritual community or area who join to create healthier communities by advancing environmental and racial justice. Green Teams work within the context of their community’s unique culture, history, and spiritual practices.

 

Green Teams are trusted messengers, mobilizing members of their broader community for environmental action. Without effective coaching, a Green Team can often struggle to enact the change desired. The loss of a strong leader, the completion of an energizing or exhausting project, or tensions over divergent interests can derail a team operating on good intentions alone. Effective outside coaching is critical to maintaining momentum. 

 

Faith in Place’s Green Team Coaches bring decades of experience working with people of diverse spiritualities across various regions, races, and religions. We provide coaching adapted to each team’s unique circumstances. A well-functioning Green Team works with their designated Green Team Coach – a trained Faith in Place staff person - to implement our programs in our five program areas: Climate Change & EnergySustainable Food & Land UseWater Preservation, Advocacy, and Youth Empowerment

Guiding Principles

  • Get in Where you Fit In: Faith in Place meets people where they are at through mutual partnership. We learn what they are passionate about and provide support and resources to take the next measurable step towards environmental, climate, and racial justice. We have a wide array of program offerings across 5 different areas for Partners and Green Teams to get engaged where their passion and energy resides. We call this: “Get in Where you Fit In!”

 

  • The Messenger Matters: The Green Team Model is based on this principle – the local messenger is trusted to meet people where they are and empower them with resources and support. This principle is the reason why Faith in Place hires from within the communities we serve. This principle is also the reason why Faith in Place seeks to start Green Teams made up of local volunteers in the places we implement our mission. 

 

  • Celebrate!: We seek to create a shared culture both within our team and with our Green Teams that shares both successes and mistakes and celebrates how each moves us forward. Celebrating in this way helps us confront the broader white supremacy culture of perfectionism. One way we do this is by honoring and extolling the work of our Green Teams at our Annual Green Team Summit. Green Teams from across the world gather to share what they are learning and how they are growing in an atmosphere characterized by shared joy and discovery.

 

  • JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion): Striving for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion is at the core of all that we do. We believe the better we embody this principle internally, the more we increase our ability to empower a shared sense of belonging together in community. We are committed to being the transformation we seek. We recognize that environmental justice communities, frequently communities of color, bear a disproportionate burden caused by environmental degradation and a changing climate. Our motivating belief is that society has an obligation to right past wrongs and create just and healthy communities. To this end, we listen, respect, and prioritize the involvement of these communities as full participants in our program and public policy decision-making.  

 

  • Everything is Connected: The ecological crisis is a spiritual crisis. Our individual and collective work is healing and restoring communities to mutual relationship with one another and all the Earth. We take responsibility for the ways our lives intersect with the lives of all beings. Our spiritual traditions offer wisdom and insight to understand the ways that everything is connected and how each of us plays our unique part in the broader whole.  

 

  • Mutual and Empowering Relationships are Our Priority: We strive for mutuality. We resist inferiority and superiority in individual and systemic relationships. We prioritize the voices of those marginalized, seeking to see and hear one another clearly and empowering each other in our shared work for equity and justice. 

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