United Methodist Women National Office is offering three prerecorded webinars as basic information for three of our 2016-2020 priority areas: Mass Incarceration, Maternal and Child Health, and Climate Justice. We encourage all participants of National Seminar to listen to these three webinars before you come to Chicago! All webinars last one hour or less. Study materials will be available for all United Methodist Women members in September for local district and conference programs.
For participants of National Seminar 2015:
You have an assignment/research to do before coming to Chicago in July.
Members not attending the event are invited to discuss the following with your United Methodist Women Circles or Charter Committees.
Look at your own household and community. Take note of how issues of economic insecurity, access to maternal healthcare, policing, profiling, detention and incarceration, as well as climate-related issues impact your family and your community. As you listen to the webinars, read the newspaper and watch the news, reflect on how these issues come up in our day-to-day lives.
Climate Justice 101
In this introductory webinar participants will gain an understanding of the lens that United Methodist Women uses to look at climate justice, along with the environmental justice steps that some communities most affected by injustices are taking to address the concern. The changes in temperatures, from the unusual cold in the American Northeast to the blazing temperatures in the Southwest, to the droughts, fires and floods across the country and around the world, affect some more than others. As we continue to explore this important issue, we want everyone to be aware of the ways policy and law have created a multiplicity of environmental pressures on some “sacrificed” communities. At the same time, those in more environmentally balanced areas — although at times also affected by storms and environmental problems — live on relatively unaffected. Power plants, manufacturing, mining, waste incinerators and waste dumps, railroad lines, seaports, sewage treatment plants and trucking routes magnify the concerns during an extreme weather event for the most economically vulnerable. The factors that cause greenhouse gases (the key contributor to human-caused climate change) can also lead to asthma, cancer, immune system disorders, hormonal imbalances, and ultimately displacement, impoverishment and migration.
This webinar will share stories that will help us understand these connections and encourage us to learn more about our own neighborhoods. By framing the concern in our historic Wesleyan desire for creation and social justice, and with a first-hand look at communities' struggles and actions through the broad expanse of work by NAACP Climate Justice Program Director Jacqui Patterson, participants will gain a holistic look at our approach to addressing this overwhelming concern in manageable ways!
Speaker: Jacqui Patterson, Program Director for the Environmental and Climate Justice Initiative of NAACP
Maternal and Child Health 101
This webinar will provide a basic overview of the maternal and infant mortality crisis in the United States. Participants will learn the definition of maternal and child health, which groups this topic covers, and how to utilize community-based strategies to improve health. Today in the United States, a baby born in Baltimore, Maryland, is more likely to die than a baby born in West Bank, Palestine. A woman giving birth in Bronx, New York, is more likely to die than a woman giving birth in Syria or Iraq. Why does the United States have such high maternal and child mortality rates? What can United Methodist Women do to improve health outcomes? Join us to learn and act in your community!
Tonya Elkins, Director of Vanderbilt School of Nursing's Mother Infant Health Outreach Worker Program (MIHOW) and
Katey Zeh, Project Director of the Healthy Families, Healthy Planet initiative of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society
Mass Incarceration 101
This webinar will help participants begin to develop and build on their understanding of mass incarceration in the United States and will explore why we must fight the crisis of incarceration as a racial justice issue. It will include a basic overview of the statistics, conditions and racial and economic causes and consequences of mass incarceration.
Today the United States leads the world in incarceration rates. There are now over 2.2 million people in our jails and prisons. This constitutes a 500 percent increase over the past 40 years. Prior to joining the webinar, all participants should review the Sentencing Project’s fact sheet on Trends in U.S. Corrections to see what incarceration rates look like in your state as well as how incarceration impacts people of color, youth and women. As people of faith, our call to realize racial and economic justice is now louder than ever before. We encourage you to listen to this prerecorded webinar on mass incarceration so that we all might learn more about how communities are naming the problem of incarceration and organizing to resist it.
The webinar is followed by a Q and A with speaker Dr. Iva Carruthers as she addresses some of the most frequently asked questions that United Methodist Women members and others ask about mass incarceration. These questions may include the following:
- We keep hearing about the impact of incarceration on black and brown men, but what are the impacts of mass incarceration on women and children?
- Aren’t the recent protests and the new movement for black lives divisive and anti-police?
- Isn’t what occurred in Ferguson, Staten Island, Baltimore and elsewhere really more an issue of economics and not race?
- I treat people like I want to be treated, but I keep hearing about systemic racism. What is systemic racism and how does it impact me as a white person?
- What can I do to begin to undo systemic racism and stop the mass criminalization of communities of color?
Speaker: Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, Executive Director of the Samuel D. Proctor Conference
This National Seminar focus issue will not have a pre-recorded webinar. Instead, we are creating an interactive workshop for National Seminar that will be available to all participants later this summer for local use and will be used widely in the future.