Chicago Creation Care & Eco-Justice

Reach Week Completed Grades 6 -12 July 16-21 (10 spaces)

  • 375 US dollars

About the Week

Chicago, Illinois, known for its stunning architecture, loyal sports fans and deep-dish pizza, sits at the intersection of industry and the natural world. The nation’s third largest city is built on the banks of a huge lake and connecting river that fueled the city’s industry and historical growth. But urban development, industrial and residential pollution, and the depletion of natural resources have unsettled and disturbed the natural world in and around Chicago. Combined with high levels of racial segregation, these harmful effects of production have left Black and Latinx Chicagoans to unfairly bear much of the burden. Residents of neighborhoods like La Villita, McKinley Park, Calumet City, and others — threatened by toxic air, unsafe drinking water, and rapid warming due to lack of green space — have responded by organizing and advocating for environmental justice. Groups participating in Chicago Creation Care and Eco-Justice weeks will explore the relationship between modern life and the degradation of vital ecological systems. Groups might participate in a “toxic tour” with People for Community Recovery, one of the first grassroots groups fighting for environmental justice on Chicago’s far Southwest side. At the same time, groups will witness and strengthen acts of Creation justice and restoration by working at an urban farm or visiting one of the many local congregations partnering with Faith In Place to establish “green teams” and commit to environmental justice in their congregation. Your group will have time together each evening for a justice-based Bible study and discussion focused on learning about root causes, systemic issues, policy and advocacy, so that you may go back to your community with a new awareness, understanding, and vision to work for environmental justice beyond the mission trip week. Cost is $375 per participant for 5 nights. • Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Snack, Monday morning - Friday morning • Lodging in a local church • A dedicated Site-Coordinator & trained young adult staff to facilitate your week • Fully planned service and educational experiences • Honorariums for speakers, costs for activities, entrance fees • A t-shirt for each participant • Printed discussion guides for small groups • Online consultation with Be the Neighbor planning staff in the spring • Online training for your adult leaders in late May or early June Note that your group is responsible for transportation during the week.