Two-day workshop to take on climate change


Assorted groups throughout campus are coming together to go “glocal” and discuss climate change.

The second Interfaith Workshop on Earth Care will take place the weekend of Feb. 20-21 and features several speakers and student-led panels. 

Bella Mukonyora, associate professor of philosophy and religion, said the weekend is dedicated to confronting climate change from a variety of angles. 

“It’s for people from different walks of life, the academic and general public, to address this issue,” she said. “Anyone familiar with climate change will notice it’s mandatory to address it now.”

Mukonyora, originally from Zimbabwe, said culture plays a crucial role in how the public responds to climate issues.

“I’m coming to it having grown up in Africa, where people are victims of climate change rather than those dealing with the agents,” she said. “It’s a global problem with local solutions.” 

The two-day workshop is comprised of various WKU and community sponsors, ranging from the biology department to the Christ Episcopal Church. Mukonyora said the connection between religion and climate change, although rarely acknowledged, should be noted.

“I teach global religions with an emphasis on global Christianity, which is important because Christianity happens to be associated with the same societies that are heavily industrialized,” she said. “These same groups send missionaries whose people have gone to spread the ideas of development, even if they haven’t necessarily meant to.” 

The Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light group from Louisville is also heavily advertising the event. 

The organization is devoted to connecting spirituality, faith and religion to sustainable causes, their website said. 

For those unable to attend the full weekend, there will be a keynote panel on Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Mass Media Technology Hall auditorium. The keynote speaker is Whitney Bauman, a religious studies professor from Florida International University. 

“I see the human world-culture, thought, economics, ideas, etc.-as part of the rest of the natural world,” Bauman said on his website. 

Those wanting to participate in other parts of the workshop should register by contacting Mukonyora by calling 270-745-5745 or 270-745-3136, or emailing [email protected] for details. Full access to the events is $10 for students and $20 for the general public.