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ACLS Faith Leader Query: Rev. Gerald Durley Speaks on Climate

By Nichole Tucker
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The Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley has joined the roster of over 350 leaders that are Taking Up the Mantle by participating in ecoAmerica's 2017 American Climate Leadership Summit. Recently, ecoAmerica gave ACLS speakers the opportunity to answer important questions about the state of climate and the future of climate leadership. Rev. Durley issued a response. 

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley is a climate leader with a history of helping to institute peace, civil rights and environmental justice on a global scale. His leadership accomplishments include; a stint in the Peace Corps and serving in ministry for 25 years. The Reverend recently retired as Pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. 

What do you wish more Americans knew about climate change?

More Americans need to know that faith and science are not at odds when it comes to what is causing climate change. Americans should be aware that resolving the climate change, environmental justice, and global warming concerns are all moral issues which require a collaboration among business, politics, education, science, and faith. "Profits over people is not acceptable."

What are current climate initiatives or efforts that inspire you/give you hope that we will effectively address climate change, even with the dearth of federal leadership on the issue?

As a civil and human rights activist for more than fifty years, I've found inspiration, encouragement, and hope when I see the masses begin to comprehend that they have the power to enact change. I am currently witnessing daily numerous grassroots groups and nonprofits challenging energy companies and federal regulations, as well as, misguided politicians. I find strength in believing that the will of an enlightened populace, about what is really causing climate change, will always be successful for positive change.

What do you hope/believe the American Climate Leadership Summit will accomplish in moving the needle on climate action?

The American Climate Leadership Summit is critical in coordinating vast diverse groups, with various interests, to not only seek but to acknowledge and implement strategies to reverse climate change. The American Climate Leadership Summit can evolve into " the conscience of the environmental movement" which was what the Civil Rights Movement was to challenging the Constitutional rights which were not being implemented for all Americans. We must continue to push the needle.

Rev. Durley will speak on this first day of the climate summit (October 25) on the topic of Justice & Inclusion. He joins a multi-sector panel which includes; Sara Hill of the Cherokee Nation, Labor Network for Sustainability's President, Joe Uehlein, and Claudia Withers, Chief Operating Officer of the NAACP. 

Did you enjoy reading this response? Read the thoughts of another ACLS faith leader, here