On February 14th, the United Methodist Women, the Scranton Center for Women’s Leadership, and the Wesley Center will be sponsoring a trip for me to go to Tokyo, Japan to participate in a seminar about climate justice. As the Environmental and Climate Justice Youth Ambassador for the NAACP Michigan State Conference, I am more than humbled to be apart of this initiative. In order to make a difference locally, one must be willing to address problems globally. If we can all come together in unity, we have an enormous ability to create real effective positive change in all of our communities. In this seminar, I will be joining other brilliant and bright young women from Japan, Korea, China and the United States to explore the ethic of creation care, ways that climate change is affecting peoples’ lives and international efforts to address it. In addition to addressing the problems of our community, and seeking the answers to create real solutions, we will also consider how our faith calls us to respond.
The United Methodist Women is an organization that aims to foster spiritual growth, develop leaders, and advocate for justice. With a membership of approximately 800,000 people their organization raise nearly $20 million a year for programs and projects serving women, children, and youth around the world. Mrs. Mary F. Scranton was the first female missionary sent to Korea who created Ewha Hakdang which was the first school for girls in Korea. The Scranton Center for Women’s Leadership seeks to educate and empower women around the world through planting seeds of hope and love. During our time in Tokyo, we will be staying at the Wesley Center to foster a environment to build awareness and promote leadership development by acknowledging concerns for gender equality, international networking, and immigration issues. The NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program was created to educate and mobilize communities to address environmental civil and human rights violations. Last semester as an ECJP Leadership Fellow at the National Headquarters, I worked at addressing the many practices that were harming communities nationwide and worldwide and the policies needed to rectify these impacts. Creating a partnership between these organizations will foster substantial change on a national and international level.
With this opportunity, I hope to come home back to Detroit and create a revolutionary movement for young people of hope, faith, and inspiration through an international lens. In a globalized economy, it’s important to build networks and bridge together ideas to create a more sustainable future. The future of my city, our state, and the nation belongs to my generation. We must empower and educate the youth of today to combat the struggles of our past and prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow. You can follow my journey on Twitter @DortheaThomas, msdortheathomas.tumblr.com, or atmissdortheathomas.wordpress.com.