Now Available: Video of Philly IPL Chapter’s March 8th Program!

Philadelphia’s Community Health Act Will Address Environmental Injustice

Any plans to address climate change and shift our economy to clean energy must consider the impacts that burning fossil fuels and production of other industrial pollutants have had on the health and well-being of Philadelphians. Policies must redress this environmental injustice. The March meeting of PA IPL’s Philadelphia Chapter addresses this topic. Our guest, Andres Celin, Outreach Director for City Councilmember Helen Gym, discusses the proposed Community Health Act and the impact it could have addressing pollution and health threats in urban communities.

Andres Celin Bio:
Andres Celin has spent a decade working in education, youth development, social services, and community organizing in the Latino community in North Philadelphia. He is currently the Outreach Director for City Councilmember Helen Gym and is a Certified Trauma-informed Trainer/Practitioner with Lakeside Global Institute. Prior to his current role, Andres was the Lead Organizer at Youth United for Change, where he worked to develop the political leadership of young people in Kensington. He has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Haverford College, and a Master in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

Community Health Act Description:
Councilmember Gym has introduced legislation aimed at redressing the environmental injustices suffered by Black and Brown communities historically overburdened by pollution. The Community Health Act would require the identification and mapping of ‘environmental justice communities’ based on past, present, and future pollution, environmental stressors, health vulnerabilities, and demographic factors. Any permits for industrial use in or near these communities would require the City to conduct a “cumulative impact assessment” that looks at the actual impact of pollution in context before granting an approval — and empower the City to require mitigating steps to prevent harm.

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The Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL is very active. Chapter volunteers plan workshops, services, and work in coalition with many other groups bringing faith voices to climate justice and clean energy transition efforts, and they bring climate justice voices to faith work. Their monthly meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM, and are open to everyone. Particular meetings may focus either on planning or on a particular program.

Philadelphia PA IPL Local Chapter Meeting – March 2022

This month’s meeting will be held on March 8th:
Philadelphia’s Community Health Act Will Address Environmental Injustice
REGISTER HERE

Any plans to address climate change and shift our economy to clean energy must consider the impacts that burning fossil fuels and production of other industrial pollutants have had on the health and well-being of Philadelphians. Policies must redress this environmental injustice. The March meeting of PA IPL’s Philadelphia Chapter will address this topic. Our guest, Andres Celin, Outreach Director for City Councilmember Helen Gym, will discuss the proposed Community Health Act and the impact it could have addressing pollution and health threats in urban communities. Please join us for this timely and important discussion.

Andres Celin Bio:
Andres Celin has spent a decade working in education, youth development, social services, and community organizing in the Latino community in North Philadelphia. He is currently the Outreach Director for City Councilmember Helen Gym and is a Certified Trauma-informed Trainer/Practitioner with Lakeside Global Institute. Prior to his current role, Andres was the Lead Organizer at Youth United for Change, where he worked to develop the political leadership of young people in Kensington. He has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Haverford College, and a Master in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

Community Health Act Description:
Councilmember Gym has introduced legislation aimed at redressing the environmental injustices suffered by Black and Brown communities historically overburdened by pollution. The Community Health Act would require the identification and mapping of ‘environmental justice communities’ based on past, present, and future pollution, environmental stressors, health vulnerabilities, and demographic factors.  Any permits for industrial use in or near these communities would require the City to conduct a “cumulative impact assessment” that looks at the actual impact of pollution in context before granting an approval — and empower the City to require mitigating steps to prevent harm.


The Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL is very active. Chapter volunteers plan workshops, services, and work in coalition with many other groups bringing faith voices to climate justice and clean energy transition efforts, and they bring climate justice voices to faith work. Their monthly meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM, and are open to everyone. Particular meetings may focus either on planning or on a particular program.

Preach In: Becoming Better Stewards of the Earth

Please join us for a presentation by a medical doctor from Physicians for Social Responsibility on Climate Change and Health, with explorations of Baha’i texts and teachings about stewardship.  People of all faith traditions are welcome — participate or observe respectfully as you are comfortable..  

004WHAT TO EXPECT:
We will say special prayers for the earth, read and reflect on the Baha’i Holy Writings on the Creation, ecological balance, and stewardship of the earth.  There will be a presentation on the Effect of the Climate change on our Health by a medical doctor from Physicians for Social Responsibility.

This is an informative program to assist us to do our part to respect, partake, safeguard the environment.  Therefore you are welcome to spread the word and invite anyone who is interested in such a program and topic.

NOTE: The Baha’is of Harrisburg held an event as scheduled during the Preach In weekend in February but slick roads and a discouraging forecast kept a number of people who had planned to attend home.  They have therefore arranged to offer the event again in May (almost always an ice-free month here in PA!).  People of all faith traditions are welcome.  

Protecting my family with my whole body, soul, and heart

10689801_757310180994744_7519201329579905246_nGretchen Dahlkemper Alfonso is a field organizer with Mom’s Clean Air Force.  With her permission we’re reposting her beautiful piece about why she’s disrupting her weekend to go to the People’s Climate March in New York on 9/21.  Gretchen got an early start on environmental issues with Sister Pat Lupo and the Benedictine Sisters in Erie, PA.  She will join with Sister Claire Marie Surmik, OSB and Sister Lucia Surmik, OSB in New York City for the People’s Climate March. *Sister Pat can not travel to NYC because she is leading a linked event in Erie (Flier 09-03-14).

I am marching for Reny, my fun-loving 5 year old who loves to spend his summers swimming, kayaking, and playing on the beaches of Lake Erie – a lake that, due to climate change, is threatened by toxic algae blooms.

I am marching for Fiona, my sweet 3 year old who loves animals – frogs, snakes (much to her mother’s dismay!), insects, birds, you name it! I am marching because Continue reading Protecting my family with my whole body, soul, and heart

In times of great challenge, community is revealed

Remarks originally delivered on September 11, 2012 at a  NWF press conference on the release of Ruined Summer: How Climate Change Scorched the Nation in 2012

The report that inspired this conference is about the loss of the American summer.  For most Americans, our mental and emotional pictures of “summer” show a quintessential time of innocent childhood, of backyard gardening, evening strolls, and flashlight tag.  Although few family photo albums are a perfect reflection of the ideal, most adults do have memories of Continue reading In times of great challenge, community is revealed

Preach-In: movie, munchies, and public health

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2013 Baha’is of Harrisburg Preach In event

Create a Preach In event for your community. There are lots of options, and lots of support.  We’ll help!

This movie-and-discussion preach-in event with the Harrisburg Baha’i community is open to anyone.  Dr. Jim Jones (Physicians for Social Responsibility, and a longtime Harrisburg  pediatrician) will be on hand for the discussion. Contact info@paipl.org and we’ll connect you with the organizer for directions and details.