WASHINGTON (February 24, 1998)--Environmental justice grants ranging from $750 to $1,530 have been awarded to groups in 19 dioceses.
The awards, known as Environmental Justice Small Grants, will fund projects which show a creative response to the environmental crisis and link concern for the environment to Catholic social justice teaching. They are provided through the U.S. Bishops' Environmental Justice Program and slated for presentation February 24, at the annual Catholic Social Ministry Meeting in Washington.
Winning initiatives include an effort to train and organize parishes affected by toxic contamination, a four-day summer youth program on environmental sustainability, a conference on the environment and children's health, and an education program on lead poisoning.
The grants are one of several initiatives of the program, which motivates Catholics to a deeper respect for creation and urges parishes to confront environmental problems, particularly as they affect the poor. Overall goals include deepening Catholics' moral commitment to needed lifestyle changes and influencing the national debate and public policy.
The Environmental Justice Program is part of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, an inter-faith effort of the U.S. Catholic Conference, the National Council of Churches, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network.