Whitney Ricker: Climate Advocacy Intern

My first few weeks as Climate Advocacy Intern have flown by, and I have already gained so much from this experience. Being in Washington D.C. and seeing how policy and advocacy play out on the federal level has been extremely informative, and I am so honored to be working with the Mennonite Central Committee’s Washington Office and the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions. I hope to continue to support them in the future, even after my internship ends.

Since starting my internship, I have learned that religious advocacy groups are extremely vocal when it comes to issues of environmental justice and climate change. In my first month, I have attended meetings with members of the Washington Interreligious Staff Community (WISC) environmental working group, which brings together people of faith who are interested in promoting pro-environmental justice and general sustainability legislation on Capitol Hill. I also had the opportunity to go on a day-long retreat to Annapolis with other interns who are interning with WISC partner organizations, and we had the opportunity to learn all about current environmental legislation and issues that are playing out this summer. The passion of the different religious organizations towards these issues has been quite refreshing to see, especially since many climate skeptics often try to use their faith to justify their skepticism and promote unsustainable lifestyles. It has also been wonderful to see people setting aside their personal differences and beliefs in order to make a positive impact, as that seems to be lacking in today’s contentious political climate.

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