UCS Conversation: Connecting Faith, Climate and Justice

Published Dec 2, 2020 Updated Dec 13, 2021

Meet the faith leaders who will share how their beliefs inform their advocacy and action.

Our Speakers

The Reverend Canon Sally Grover Bingham

The Reverend Canon Sally Grover Bingham, an Episcopal priest and Canon for the Environment in the Diocese of California, was one of the first faith leaders to fully recognize climate change as a moral issue. She is Founder and President Emeritus of The Regeneration Project and its Interfaith Power & Light campaign, which currently has 22,000 congregation members in forty states. Rev. Bingham recently retired from the national board of the Environmental Defense Fund. She is on the board of Pacific Forest Trust and on the advisory board of both the Union of Concerned Scientists and Climate One. She has received many awards including in 2012, the Rachel arson Women in Conservation Award from the Audubon Society and the LifeTime Achievement Award from the Festival of Faiths and in 2014, the Bishop of California Green Cross Award. Rev. Bingham is the lead author of Love God Heal Earth, a collection of 21 essays on environmental stewardship by religious leaders, published by St. Lynn’s Press.

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin is the author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet and is the co-founder of Green Squash Consulting a management consulting firm based in New York that works with people, organizations, companies, coalitions and governments committed to equity and justice and specializes in dynamic strategic and focused stakeholder management and partnership development. He sits on the boards of the International Living Future Institute encouraging the creation of a regenerative built environment and Sapelo Square whose mission is to celebrate and analyze the experiences of Black Muslims in the United States.

Ibrahim is a bright, playful spirit who authentically reflects and acts on bold questions. His artful blending of idealism and spiritual commitment with pragmatic application has led him into government, public administration, parenthood, and media. His unique voice has helped elevate the environmental vision of Islam, the spiritual opportunity of parenting, and the cultural and political side of sports. His work can be found at www.ibrahimabdul-matin.com.

Rabbi Melanie Aron

Rabbi Aron is Senior Rabbi of Congregation Shir Hadash, where she has responsibilities for worship, life cycle ceremonies, pastoral care, and working with boards and volunteers. She has also served on a variety of boards in the Jewish community both locally and nationally and with a number of interfaith groups, including the Los Gatos Interreligious Leaders Group, People Acting in Community Together, and the Islamic Networks Group.

She has her ordination from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, NY, and she received a Masters of Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH. She holds a BA in Economics/Political Science from the University of Cincinnati.

Reverend Dr. Gerald L. Durley

The Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Durley retired from Pastor Emeritus of Providence Missionary Baptist Church after 25 years of service and is currently Pastor Emeritus. He previously served at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. While serving as Pastor, he became intensely involved in the climate change, global warming, and environmental justice movement. Rev. Dr. Durley now combines the disciplines of faith and science with the lessons learned as a civil/human rights advocate from the 1960’s.

A student leader in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, Dr. Durley holds a degree in psychology and a doctorate in Urban Education and Psychology, and a Master of Divinity. He has served as past president of the Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta; co-chair of the Regional Council of Churches of Metropolitan Atlanta; and Head Start Executive Director. He serves on the boards of the March of Dimes, Civil and Human Rights Global Advisory, Communities in Schools of Atlanta, Georgia Power Diversity Council, Georgia Interfaith Corrections, Interfaith Power & Light, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) of Atlanta. He has been married for almost 50 years to his wife, Muriel. They have two children and four grandchildren. His autobiography, I Am Amazed, is available at Amazon.

William Edelglass

William Edelglass is Director of Studies at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. He also serves as chair of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Environmental Philosophy and is co-editor of the journal, Environmental Philosophy. William teaches and writes broadly in areas of Buddhist theory and practice and environmental humanities. He is co-editor of Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, the Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy, and Facing Nature: Levinas and Environmental Thought. For more on his scholarly work, see a recent interview William did with 3:AM Magazine, or this conversation with William on the Imperfect Buddha Podcast. William lives with his wife Kirstin and their six-year-old twin daughters on an off-grid homestead in southern Vermont.