[World Council of Churches] The 10th Annual Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture, titled “Climate Justice Globally: Now and for the Future,” will take place on Oct. 7 online. Featured speakers will include 23-year-old Vanessa Nakate, a climate activist from Uganda who has been leading a drive for justice related to race, media representation and climate justice; and internationally known Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
The Rev. Edwin Arrison, organizer of the peace lecture, shared his reflections on the upcoming event.
Have the two young speakers already brought an exciting energy as the lecture draws closer?
Arrison: Yes! Being able to connect with these two young people — and having them both say yes — has been very exciting. We have been able to have two full conversations with Vanessa, and her knowledge and her grace are quite phenomenal. Seeing and hearing the joy from so many people when they hear that it is Greta and Vanessa who will speak is also very rewarding, especially in this year of depressing news. Archbishop Emeritus Tutu is also very excited that the two young women will receive the baton from him to take the struggles forward.
How can the ecumenical family help the Desmond Tutu Foundation continue a legacy of uniting people in peace and in rejecting corruption?
Arrison: First, continue to pray for us. Second, register for this event and if you can, make a donation so that the work can continue unimpeded. Third, let us continue to reflect together and learn from one another, encourage and inspire each other so that the work of Christ, of the Word, of the Light may continue.
As this landmark lecture will take place toward the end of Season of Creation, do you think it will help people of faith deepen their commitment to the Earth?
Arrison: That is the hope. From the southernmost point of Africa, a word will go out to the global family to unite and to care for our mother, the Earth. In doing so, we will also bring healing to ourselves and fully embrace our interconnectedness.