January 2021 is Food Justice Month at Fourth Universalist! 

The Food Justice movement is working to make sure all people have access to healthy food, while studying the impacts of food production and waste on our environment.
Please join the Environmental Justice Team at Fourth Universalist as we explore issues related to food, the environment, and how we can create more equitable food systems in our communities.
We have a series of fun events lined up beginning with a special service on Sunday, January 10th. We will explore issues of workers’ rights in our food systems, the effects of agriculture and food distribution on climate change, food insecurity and hunger in NYC, and food waste and composting.
Please register for the events using this form. All events will occur on Zoom at this link.
Sunday, January 10 at 11:00 AM
Sunday Service Kickoff!
  • Join us and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for a special service exploring issues of food justice. The Coalition will be sharing reflections within the service and offering a more in-depth program following the service. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a Florida-based farmworker, human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in fighting human trafficking and gender-based violence at work.  The CIW is also recognized for pioneering the design and development of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility paradigm, a worker-led, market-enforced approach to the protection of human rights in corporate supply chains.

Tuesday, January 12 at 7:00 PM
Panel: Food Justice and Climate Change

  • Panelist: Matthew Hayek, PhD, Department of Environmental Studies, NYU. Dr. Hayek’s research quantifies the environmental impacts of our food system, with a specific focus on greenhouse gas emissions and contributions to climate change.
  • Panelist: Joe Bozeman III, PhD, Institute for Environmental Science and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Bozeman’s research explores climate change and social identity as it relates to the food-energy-water nexus and global environmental change.

Tuesday, January 19 at 7:00 PM
Panel: Food Insecurity and Hunger in NYC

  • Panelist: Sophie Collyer, Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University. Sophie Collyer is Research Director at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University. Her research focuses on anti-poverty policies at the national and local levels, with a particular interest in child allowances, federal and local minimum wage policy, and housing policy.
  • Panelist: Liz Accles, Executive Director, Community Food Advocates. Liz Accles is the Executive Director of Community Food Advocates, an organization that spearheads the coalition-based Lunch 4 Learning campaign, and In 2017 secured universal free school lunch for all 1.1 million NYC public school students.
  • Panelist: Karen Washington, Co-founder Rise and Root Farm. Karen Washington founded Farm School NYC and Black Urban Growers and received a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2014.

Tuesday, January 26 at 7:00 PM
Panel: Food Waste and Composting

  • Panelist: Sandy Nurse, Founder BK ROT. BK ROT is New York City’s first community-supported, bike-powered, fossil fuel free food waste hauling and composting service.
  • Panelist: Mary Most, Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability, NYC Department of Sanitation. The Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability leads initiatives to reduce waste – and keep recyclables from reaching landfills. This team’s focus is driving New York City to send zero waste to landfills.

General Information about Environmental Justice!

At Fourth Universalist, we are deeply committed to environmental sustainability and confronting systems that perpetuate and profit from environmental destruction and climate change.

At Fourth Universalist we compost, use environmentally friendly materials whenever possible, and work so our building’s ecological footprint might be lessened. We volunteer with local non-profits, that help ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. We offer space to Extinction Rebellion, as they seek to radically disrupt systems of environmental oppression. And we organize and march and educate, through participation in the 2019 NYC Climate Strike.

As Unitarian Universalists, we live with a deep awareness of our climate crisis and the deep environmental injustices of our time. We commit to four practices, grounded in Unitarian Universalist principles:

  • Environmental Justice: We partner with marginalized communities who are hit first and hardest by environmental crisis. In partnering with these communities we are able to address human and environmental needs at the same time.
  • Worship and Celebration: As we work together towards a cleaner, more just and sustainable world, worship inspires our work and reminds us of what is most sacred and most true.
  • Religious Education: Our workshops and programs for all ages shape attitudes and build practices that are sustainable and spiritually-grounded.
  • Sustainable Living: We treat the world more gently by using fewer resources and being mindful of the choices we make, both as a congregation and as households. This includes composting, reducing our congregational plastic use, and participating in events like MulchFest each year.

If you would like to get involved in these efforts, I invite you to contact our Senior Minister, Rev. Schuyler Vogel, at revschuyler@4thu.org, or our Environmental Justice Team, led by Liz Wolfe and Barbara Woods, at envirojustice@4thu.org. We look forward to being in touch!