Kim Morrow, Lennox Yearwood Jr., among climate leaders receiving White House award: People

July 30, 2015

From a zero-waste synagogue to global development work after natural disasters, environmental projects by faith leaders are being hailed by the Obama administration as examples of exemplary leadership on climate change.

Environmental Protection Agency ad­ministrator Gina McCarthy highlighted initiatives by a dozen leaders from a range of faiths, who were recognized July 20 in Wash­ington, D.C., as “Champions of Change.”

“As faith leaders, no voice is really more important than yours in this,” McCarthy said. “As the president and others, including the pope, have indicated, this really is a moral responsibility. We need to remind people of that and engage them. It’s a responsibility that we all have to share.”

The honorees in­cluded four officials of Interfaith Power and Light, a nonprofit that helps congregations save energy and be­come more environmentally friendly. One was Kim Morrow, executive di­rector of Nebras­ka Interfaith Power and Light, who is ordained in the United Church of Christ. Morrow also serves as minister of sustainability at First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln and as a climate change resource specialist at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She “is passionate about helping people respond to the environmental urgencies of our time in ways that are community-based, theologically motivated, and hopeful,” the White House statement said.

Another minister recognized by the White House was Lennox Yearwood Jr., president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, which launched Peo­ple’s Climate Music, according to the White House website. Year­wood is an elder in the Church of God in Christ. “After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Reverend Yearwood established the award winning Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign where he led a coalition of national and grassroots organizations to advocate for the rights of Katrina survivors,” the White House statement said. “Lennox has been successfully bridging the gap between communities of color and environmental issue advocacy for the past decade.” —Religion News Service; added sources