Because the Earth and all people are sacred and at risk, GreenFaith is building a worldwide, multi-faith climate and environmental movement.
Together our members create communities to transform ourselves, our spiritual institutions, and society to protect the planet and create a compassionate, loving and just world.
We envision a world transformed, in which humanity in all its diversity has developed a shared reverence for life on Earth. Religious and spiritual communities everywhere generate a moral awakening to the sacredness of Earth and the dignity of all people. Together, we are building resilient, caring communities and economies that meet everyone’s needs and protect the planet. The era of conquest, extraction, and exploitation has given way to cooperation and community.
The good life is one of connectedness—with each other and all of nature. It is a world of flourishing life that replaces despair with joy, scarcity with shared abundance, and privilege with justly distributed power.
We share beliefs and principles that shape our work and guide our relationships:
ROOTED IN SPIRITUALITY
We are centered and inspired by our faiths and revere the sacredness of Earth and all people.
MOVED BY COMPASSION
We act out of love and a deep will to end the suffering of people and the planet.
PASSIONATE FOR JUSTICE
We strive to end all forms of oppression and bring forth an equitable and healed world.
INCLUSIVE BY NATURE
We collaborate with persons richly diverse in culture and backgrounds.
RESPONSIBLE IN PRACTICE
We lead by example and seek to embody integrity, transparency, and accountability.
We show courage in taking risks and creativity in our actions.
OUR THEORY OF CHANGE
People of faith make up over 80% percent of the world’s population. Our religions teach us to care for the earth and each other; we seek to live by these values. Right now, however, the world is deeply out of balance and we are frightened and concerned. The most vulnerable among us are suffering while ineffective or authoritarian governments, polluting and extractive industries, and extremist cultural and religious forces place our planet at great risk.
We have an opportunity now for bold transformation, to build a life connected to each other and the Earth.
But we know that we have an opportunity now for bold transformation, to build a life connected to each other and the Earth. Our faith and spiritual practices give us the strength to turn towards great challenges and to profoundly change the world. People of faith have done so before when there was a call to action, and members of the GreenFaith community are choosing to do so now.
Around the globe, we’re organizing people of faith, spiritually but not religious people, and religious leaders to join the GreenFaith community and to develop local Circles.
Within these Circles, people create community, learn, grow and take action. Because we believe that change in one area accelerates change in other areas, our Circle members work to transform our own lives, our religious institutions, and our society. We won’t stop until equitable, truly sustainable policies, actions, and practices are embodied at every level.
It won’t be easy. The climate emergency we face is enormous. The forces working against us – the fossil fuel industry, corrupt or inadequate administrations, the culture of consumerism, simple inertia – are powerful.
But our community is responding. We’re pressing governments to commit to a global recovery from COVID-19 that invests in a just transition to 100% renewable energy, healthy food, clean water and air for everyone – and millions of green jobs to remake the world. We’re organizing religious groups to divest from fossil fuels, industrial agriculture, and the banks that finance the planet’s destruction and invest in climate solutions, especially those providing clean energy to the millions living without electricity. We’re striving to lead by example, adopting climate-friendly consumption habits at home and at our places of prayer and worship.
In communities all around the world, in circles of friends and neighbors, our community is coming together to build equitable, caring and resilient institutions and societies.
We invite you to join us.
The Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo is GreenFaith’s Florida Organizer. A Venezuelan-American eco-theologian and Presbyterian pastor, she has taught eco-theology at theological seminaries in Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, México and the USA. Neddy co-founded the Angelic Organics Learning Center in Illinois, a farm-based nonprofit where people learned to connect food, farming and caring for Earth.
Caroline Bader is co-facilitator of the GreenFaith International Network and coordinates GreenFaith’s work on individual behavior change and engagement with German faith communities. She holds a diploma in religious education and a certificate in International Organisations Management and previously served as Youth Secretary for the Lutheran World Federation.
The Rev. Amy Brooks Paradise is GreenFaith’s North Carolina Organizer. A Unitarian Universalist minister, Amy served for many years with Charlotte’s Regional AIDS Interfaith Network and more recently as the minister of the UU Fellowship of Lake Norman. She’s on the board of the Mecklenburg Metropolitan Interfaith Ministry and the UU Justice Ministry of North Carolina.
Nana Firman is GreenFaith’s Senior Ambassador. An Indonesian, she directed WWF-Indonesia’s “Green Reconstruction” efforts during a post-tsunami period and developed an urban climate change adaptation and mitigation initiative. An internationally recognized speaker, she is one of 20 Earth Defenders featured in One Earth: People of Color Protecting Our Planet.
The Rev. Fletcher Harper is GreenFaith’s Executive Director. A pioneer of the global religious environmental movement, he helps spearhead the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement, organizes faith turnouts at major climate mobilizations, and is a co-founder of Shine, an international campaign that supports women and community-led renewable energy access initiatives in Africa and India. He is the author of GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Protect the Earth.
Oluwatosin Kolawole, GreenFaith Organizer, helps organize GreenFaith Circles in New Jersey and the growth of GreenFaith’s organizing in Africa. Tosin is Nigerian, was active in anti-coal campaigns and climate mobilizations in Lagos, and now calls New Jersey, US, home.
Dr. Martin Kopp helps coordinate GreenFaith’s work on personal behavior change and engagement with French-speaking and European faith groups. His doctoral thesis was on de-growth and ecotheology (University of Strasbourg, France), and he consults on this topic with religious and secular groups in France and beyond. He served as the Climate Justice Advocacy Officer of the Lutheran World Federation and chairs the Commission on Ecology and Climate Justice of the French Protestant Federation.
The Rev. abby mohaupt is GreenFaith’s Director of Education & Training. abby previously coordinated GreenFaith’s and Drew Theological School’s Green Seminary Initiative, and she coordinates GreenFaith’s relationships with seminaries across the US. She holds a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Theology degrees from McCormick Theological Seminary, is a PhD candidate at Drew Theological School, is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and lives in Texas.
Louis Romain is a GreenFaith Organizer, with 10 years of electoral and issue-based campaign experience ranging from environmental, racial, immigration, and criminal justice reform efforts. Louis served as a faith organizer for the 2014 Peoples’ Climate March, helping to mobilize tens of thousands of people. He is an active member in the AME Zion Church supporting young adult and youth ministries, and serves as social action chair for over 130 churches in the Northeast US.
I. Malik Saafir, Education and Training Associate, is a scholar and community organizer who works with diverse, grassroots people of faith, developing leaders who speak truth to power and who work to eradicate poverty and achieve racial equality in the American South. He is the founder of The Southern Renaissance, an organization dedicated to uniting the social and environmental justice movements under the banner of climate justice.
Sara Shor, GreenFaith’s Organizing Director, has over 15 years of organizing experience, most recently as US Campaigns Director at 350.org. Sara’s previous roles at 350.org included service as Keep it in the Ground Campaign Manager, Keystone XL and Tar Sands Campaign Manager, and U.S. National Organizer. Prior to working for 350, Sara worked on electoral, food justice, and environmental justice campaigns in Washington DC, Ohio, and California.
The Rev. Ronald B. Tuff is GreenFaith’s New Jersey Organizer, where he has specialized in organizing black churches for environmental leadership. With degrees from Wilberforce University (BA) and Fairleigh Dickinson University (MPA), he served as director of the Paterson Task Force, a community-based weatherization agency, for 15 years. He is an associate pastor at First Bethel Baptist Church in Irvington, NJ.
Meryne Warah is co-facilitator and coordinator of the GreenFaith International Network. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, she has worked with the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance where she coordinated climate justice policy advocacy in eight African countries, and the Interreligious Council of Kenya, where she served as Programme Officer for Gender, Environment and Climate Change.
GREENFAITH INTERNATIONAL NETWORK FOUNDING PARTNERS
Deborah Prinz, a New Jersey native, is the founder of the Achieve Foundation of South Orange and Maplewood and the Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program. Prior to her work with the schools, Deborah was a counselor with North Jersey Mental Health Associates in Morristown. She studied in Israel with the Institute for Youth Leaders from Abroad, graduated from New College of Hofstra University and holds a MEd from Columbia University Teachers College. She currently serves on the board of the Orange Orphan Society Deborah and lives in South Orange.
Irene Woodard, Vice Chair, is the owner of TrueBlooms, a floral business which uses seasonal, fresh, local flowers. True Blooms was chosen to design the stage set and create the floral arrangements for the Dalai Lama’s conversation at Town Hall in New York City in 2010. She served as Director of Practice and Training at Sky Lake Lodge, a Buddhist Retreat Center in New York’s Hudson Valley and is founder of Touching the Earth, the Shambhala Buddhist environmental initiative.
Philip I. Brilliant, Treasurer, CHMM, LSRP is the owner and CEO of Brilliant Environmental Services, LLC and a charter member of the Site Remediation Professional Licensing Board. A well-respected specialist in the remediation of contaminated sites, he has been influential in New Jersey’s Licensed Site Remediation Professional program. Phil is also president of Congregation B’nai Israel in Toms River and founder of the Marilyn D. Brilliant Memorial Scholarship at Temple Beth El of Somerset, NJ.
Mark Brescia, Secretary, is an Account Manager at ICF International. He is currently working on the NYC Clean Heat program that improves air quality and saves lives by eliminating heavy oil use and accelerating the adoption of the cleanest fuels. Mark previously led Green Market Solutions’ Maryland Home Performance with Energy Star® program and increased the use of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs while educating students and communities on climate change as part of The New Jersey Clean Energy Program.
Jack M. Gorman, M.D., Executive Committee, is President and Co-founder of Critica, a non-profit organization devoted to improving the public’s acceptance of scientific consensus. He was on the faculty of Columbia University and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where he served as Klingenstein Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Neuroscience. Jack has authored or co-authored more than 400 scientific articles and chapters, was continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for his research from 1981 until 2006, and has won numerous awards for his research and service to psychiatry. Jack is an active member of his Orthodox synagogue and a Board Member of the UJA-Federation of New York. With his daughter Sara, he is co-author of Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts that Will Save Us.
Pastor Leo Woodberry, Executive Committee, is pastor of Kingdom Living Temple in Florence, South Carolina. In response to African American church burnings in the mid-1990s throughout the South, Rev. Woodberry’s work with the South Carolina Burned Church Restoration Coalition helped to bring the arsonists to justice, effectively shutting down the public operations of the Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina. In the early 2000’s, Leo joined the nascent African American Environmental Justice Action Network and organized community members around the issue of mercury contamination in fish and waterways due to pollution from coal-burning power plants. He continued to fight against the impacts of coal pollution as part of a coalition that successfully prevented the Pee Dee coal plant from being built.
Scott James-Vickery is Executive of the Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner for the United Methodist Church, where he administers mission personnel both in the U.S and abroad who serve in a variety of advocacy vocations. He also serves on the Board of Directors for DOTAC-Diakonia of the Americas and Caribbean, an ecumenical group of Christian diaconal communities in North America, the Caribbean, Central America and South America leading the church in compassion and justice.
The Rt. Rev. Nathan Kyamanya is Bishop (Ret.) of the Diocese of Bunyoro, Kitara, Church of Uganda (Anglican). A long-time environmental advocate, he mobilized congregations in Uganda to mitigate climate change impacts on local agricultural communities and pioneered a process through which he asked all persons whom he confirmed, and all couples whom he married, to plant a tree, resulting in over 10,000 trees planted during his ministry. He has represented the ACT Alliance at the UNFCCC climate conferences.
Denise Patel is a New York City-based human rights and environmental activist. Her personal and professional work has focused on grassroots organizing, building coalitions, and leading advocacy campaigns to address occupational and environmental health impacts of climate change and toxic chemicals. She has previously worked for organizations such as the NJ Work Environment Council and has been a leader in the fossil fuel divestment movement working with the DivestInvest Network, 350.org, and the Peoples Climate Movement – New York. She holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University with a focus on Climate and Health.
Fred Profeta was Mayor of Maplewood Township, New Jersey from 2004-2008 and now serves as the Deputy Mayor for the Environment. He was Chair of the New Jersey Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future from 2006-2011, co-founding the Sustainable Jersey municipal certification program. Profeta speaks widely around New Jersey and beyond to promote Sustainable Jersey and presented at the 2009 Local Government Climate Change Leadership Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2010, Profeta received the New Jersey Governor’s Environmental Leadership Excellence award. He is also a New York lawyer, and has been the senior partner of Profeta & Eisenstein since 1987.
Cynthia Scharf is the senior strategy director for the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative. She previously served as the head of strategic communications and chief speechwriter on climate change for the United Nations secretary-general from 2009-2016, played a key role in the secretary-general’s two global climate change summits (2014 and 2009) and advised the secretary-general during the UNFCCC negotiations, including the landmark Paris climate change agreement in 2015. Prior to her work on climate change, Cynthia worked on global humanitarian and public health emergencies at the UN and with international non-governmental organizations in the Balkans, Africa, the UK, and Russia. She began her career as a journalist in Moscow in the early 1990s covering the collapse of the communist system in the former USSR and Eastern Europe.
Barry L. Schwartz is CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The Jewish Publication Society, the oldest Jewish publisher in the United States. He also serves as rabbi of Congregation Adas Emuno. Rabbi Schwartz is the author of ten books including Judaism’s Great Debates (2012), Path of the Prophets (2018), and a children’s environmental picture book Adam’s Animals (2017). He is a long time activist with the Jewish environmental movement, including the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Shomrei Adamah and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL). He is an avid hiker.
Scott A. Weiner is the Principal of SAW Associates LLC, a consulting firm focusing on business strategy and public policy in the areas of climate change, commercialization of renewable energy technologies and emerging business models for energy utilities. He is a member of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City and previously served as a member of its Board of Trustees. Scott has served as President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy, and as Deputy, Markets & Innovation, at the New York State Department of Public Service. He also has served on the senior management team of public and private clean energy businesses. Scott is the founding Director of the Center for Energy, Economic and Environmental Policy at Rutgers University and has served as a Senior Policy Fellow and Faculty Fellow at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers.