Who we are
The Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action works in our Commonwealth for a just and sustainable climate future. We are a fast-growing network of people rooted in a variety of religious and spiritual traditions. We work for timely, high-impact changes in laws and systems in Massachusetts, while building interfaith leadership and momentum for climate justice.
We believe that the climate crisis will only be effectively addressed to the extent that human beings draw upon our deepest sources of wisdom, courage, and compassion. We encourage spiritual grounding as the foundation of action. We envision a world in which religious and spiritual communities take a leading role in the climate justice movement, and where ultimately we succeed in making all communities equitable, just, and resilient.
Understanding that right and reason alone do not always prevail in politics, we seek broad-based membership to build power and to influence decision-makers in every sector and office-holders at every level of government so that they hear and heed the voices of climate justice.
Our organization is known as MAICCA, pronounced “Micah,” like the Hebrew prophet who invited the faithful “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). We honor the sacred voices of every tradition who call for a just and compassionate world. As a cross-cultural group, we seek to listen carefully to the insights of every community.
What we value
Tackling the climate crisis calls us to work for social transformation, so that in the process of shifting to clean, safe, renewable energy, we also build a more just society, in which no one is left out. We understand that the web of life is a gift to be protected, not a commodity to be exploited and destroyed. We place our hope not in the promise of success but in being faithful to the love that created us and that holds all things together.
We intentionally seek to work at the intersection of climate action, economic justice, environmental justice, and racial justice. We seek to include people of many different spiritual traditions and different geographic and socioeconomic locations. We seek to ensure that low-income and immigrant communities, communities of color, and the historically under-served are integrated into our political and economic structure and are part of developing climate change solutions. We are working to increase diversity in our leadership and membership.
We identify and nurture leadership in congregations, and listen for which climate justice campaigns emerge as important to our membership.
How We started
In June 2015, Pope Francis issued his encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, in which he called for people of all faiths to respond to the challenge of climate change as an issue of moral imperative and social justice with “a new and universal solidarity.”
Inspired by the Pope’s message, long-time social activists Amy Benjamin (Temple Beth Elohim) and Lise Olney (Unitarian Universalists of Wellesley) organized an interfaith team to create both an event and a coalition that would bring people together to take collective action on issues of climate justice. The event was “Answering the Call: An Interfaith Gathering for Climate Action,” a rousing evening of music, prayer, and speakers held on October 12, 2015, at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley.
“Answering the Call” launched the MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action (MAICCA) with 50 co-sponsoring religious and spiritual groups and 550 attendees. The first action by the coalition was a Legislative Action Day on November 10, which featured a standing-room only rally inside the Boston State House. MAICCA activities throughout the legislative session included educational forums; trainings and resources for meetings with legislators; coordination of legislator meetings; call-ins; email updates; and mobilizing for rallies and marches with partner organizations. Through this work, MAICCA developed as a strong coalition with an eight member Leadership Team and dozens of affiliates.
In Year 2, MAICCA has committed to broadening our reach and participation, becoming more inclusive and diverse in race, class, tradition, and geography so that our decisions and priorities reflect the needs and perspectives of our wider community.