New name positions Anabaptist Climate Collaborative in unique nexus

After six years, the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions is signaling several major changes with incorporation under the new name, Anabaptist Climate Collaborative. The organization is now an independent nonprofit (501c3), moving away from affiliation with Eastern Mennonite University and its other core partners, Mennonite Central Committee and Goshen College. The announcement was made Oct. 24.

Doug Graber Neufeld, a biology and environmental science professor at EMU, has led the organization since its beginning but plans to step down in early 2023. A new board will facilitate the search for new leadership.

Neufeld said that to be effective, the center needs to evolve along with the climate crisis.

“This independent organization is prepared to embrace new roles in programs that impact an expanded audience, while continuing programs that have successfully motivated people and organizations to take meaningful actions,” he said. “Being involved from the beginning in shaping this organization as we learn from those we serve has given all of us hope. We see how we are able to equip people to engage together with one of the most important issues of our time.”

Much of the previous organization’s programming is focused on educating and empowering advocacy among young people, equipping pastors to engage their congregations, raising the voices of those most impacted by climate change, and supporting researchers from Anabaptist institutions.

For example, in January 2022, the center convened the Anabaptist Collaboration on Climate Change with leadership from 18 Anabaptist organizations in the United States and Canada. In summer 2021, 16 cyclists rode across the country, listening to diverse voices across the United States talk about climate change. [Read more about the Climate Ride.]

Read about the planned changes in the organization’s recent newsletter:

  • An explanation of the new name;
  • Bios of the new board members;
  • A funding plan and creation of an annual fund;
  • A report on the 2022 sustainability summit and ecumenical retreat;
  • New climate curriculum for churches;
  • Learn more about extractive minerals and stories of global climate injustice