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News Releases from Region 04

White House Honors Georgia Faith Leader for Climate Champions of Change

Contact Information: 
Dawn Harris Young (harris-young.dawn@epa.gov)
404-562-8421, 404-562-8400

ATLANTA - On Monday, July 20th, the White House will recognize Reverend Gerald Durley of Atlanta, Ga., as a "Champion of Change" for his efforts in protecting our environment and communities from the effects of climate change.

The Champion of Change event will feature remarks by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Senior Advisor to the President Brian Deese, as they honor Rev. Durley and 11 other Americans who have demonstrated clear leadership across the United States and around the world through their grassroots efforts to green their communities and educate others on the moral and social justice implications of climate change.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

"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," said Administrator McCarthy. "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."

As the former Dean of Clark Atlanta University and the former director of the Health Promotion Resource Center of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Reverend Gerald Durley seeks to combine the disciplines of faith and science with the lessons learned as a civil rights advocate of the 1960's. He believes that climate change, global warming, and environmental justice are moral imperatives and civil rights issues. He has worked with Interfaith Power and Light, the Sierra Club, Eco-America, U.S. Climate Action Network, the Environmental Working Group, Green Law, Ambassadors for Clean Air, Moms Clean Air Force, and Water Keeper Inc. Currently he is working to eradicate fluoride from toothpaste and drinking water and testifying before EPA on the clean power plan.

The other honorees are:
Patrick Carolan, Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), Stratford, Connecticut
Sunita 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 Beumer, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Maitland, Florida
Huda Alkaff, the Islamic Environmental 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 for Hazon, Boulder, Colorado
Nana Firman, Green Mosque Initiative for Islamic Society of North America, Riverside, California

The event will be live streamed on the White House website. To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live on Monday, July 20th at 2:00 PM ET. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions. Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.

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