Earlier this week, the White House recognized Reverend Gerald Durley of Atlanta, Georgia as a “Champion of Change” due to his efforts to protect the environment and communities from the effects of climate change, a press release said.
The Champion of Change event featured remarks by EPA Administrator GIna McCarthy and the Senior Advisor to President Brian Deese to honor Reverend Durley alongside 11 other leaders who have used grassroots efforts to make their community more green.
In a press release issued the day of the recognition, the EPA said,
“Today, we are excited to recognize extraordinary people of faith, from across the country, who are acting on climate to protect our planet from harmful climate change impacts. Many of our faith leaders understand that it is our moral obligation to help preserve a healthy planet for generations to come, and are heeding President Obama’s call for community-led climate efforts.”
The program was created so that the White House specifically could honor individuals who work to honor and inspire change within their communities.
Reverend Durley was formerly the Dean of Clark Atlanta University as well as the Director of the Health Promotion Resource Center of the Morehouse School of Medicine. Durley was a civil rights advocate in the 1960’s and believe climate change, global warming, and environmental justice are moral imperatives. Durley is currently working to eradicate fluoride from toothpaste and drinking water.
Other honorees for the Champion of Change include:
- Patrick Carolan – Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) – Stratford, Connecticut
- Sunit Viswanath – Coalition of Progressive Hindus – Brooklyn, New York
- Cassandra Carmichael – National Religious Partnership for the Environment – Annapolis, Maryland
- Rachel Lamb – Steering Committee for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, Silver Spring, Maryland
- Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr., – Hip Hop Caucus, People’s Climate Music – Hyattsville, Maryland
- Steven Beurmer – St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church – Maitland, Florida
- Huda Alkaff – the Islamic Group of Wisconsin (Wisconsin Green Muslims) – West Bend, Wisconsin
- Sister Joan Brown – New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light – Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Reverend Kim Morrow – Executive Director of Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light – Lincoln, Nebraska
- Rabbi Marc Soloway – Haver, Boulder’s Rabbinic Fellowship, Rabbinic Advisory Board – Boulder, Colorado
- Nana Firman – Green Mosque Initiative for Islamic Society of North America – Riverside, California