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Genesis Congregations Co‑Sponsor the 2nd Annual Climate Teach‑In

On March 10, our two Genesis congregations advanced our mission to heal a broken world when we together proudly co‑sponsored and hosted the 2nd Annual Ann Arbor Climate Teach-in.


Over 200 people attended our high-profile event, including Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor and our U.S. congressional representative, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, who delivered the keynote address.


Genesis President Jim Downward, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Rabbi Josh Whinston, Rev. Anne Clarke, and Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor at the Climate Teach-In at our Genesis building.
Genesis President Jim Downward, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Rabbi Josh Whinston, Rev. Anne Clarke, and Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor at the Climate Teach-In at our Genesis building.

Students from the Ann Arbor Public Schools' Freeman Environmental Youth Council kicked off the day with an inspiring presentation that set the tone of hope and determination. The Freeman Environmental Youth Council is a districtwide leadership group that brings AAPS high school students together to collaborate around critical environmental issues affecting young people. (slides.)



Then, in her dynamic keynote address, Congresswoman Dingell emphasized how paramount it is to strive for maximum inclusivity when drafting meaningful and effective climate legislation.


The room buzzed with excitement and possibility when – in the second keynote address of the event – Dr. Missy Stults, the Director of the Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovations (A2ZERO) outlined the ambitious goals of the A2Zero Initiative, including achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, while also making clear just how much of the city's renewable energy plans to expand solar energy use and geothermal heating are already in progress. (slides.) Attendees left with new confidence that achieving district-wide geothermal heating in Ann Arbor will happen on target and left inspired to take part in making that a reality.


Genesis and our congregations likewise came away even more inspired to accelerate the reduction of our building's carbon footprint.


Throughout the teach-in, participants engaged in discussions ranging from sustainable transportation to decarbonization strategies, and from sustainable banking and investment to local climate justice and other local advocacy opportunities recommended by the Citizens' Climate Lobby Ann Arbor. Each session ignited a spark of inspiration, reminding us of the significant impact we can achieve working together.


This Teach-In was more than just a conference—it was a catalyst for change. Whether you were able to attend or not, the message is clear: our actions matter, and together, we can build a greener, more sustainable world. Let’s harness this energy, continue the conversation, and recommit to our partnership to help heal a broken world and move towards a brighter tomorrow.




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