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Carleton Hosts Human Right Activist and Environmentalist, Reverend Ruth Caigoy Janoras

May 22, 2012

Reverend Ruth Caigoy Janoras, an activist working through the church to protect communities in her native Philippines from environmental destruction and human rights abuses, will speak at Carleton College on Monday, May 28 at 7 p.m. in the Gould Library Athenaeum. Her presentation, entitled “Environmental Justice in the Philippines: A Faith-based Perspective,” will be followed by a reception. This event is free and open to the public.

Caigoy Janoras’ island of Mindanao, Philippines, is currently facing an environmental crisis. Multinational mining corporations are ripping profits from the land and leaving environmental destruction in their wake; ecologically valuable bio-diverse regions are being converted into single-crop plantations paying wages far below living wages; over half of the growing population lives in poverty; and government corruption is endemic.

Within this context, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) is working towards environmental justice as a form of human justice, working on behalf of the poor and voiceless. This includes opposition to new mines that will poison local water supplies, support for fishermen displaced by upscale developments, and support for banana plantation workers attempting to unionize. Additionally, Caigoy Janoras hopes to bring light to the ongoing harassment and murder of UCCP members in the Philippines. In the last decade, two-dozen UCCP clergy and lay workers have been murdered and UCCP members are actively working to end Christian persecution in the region.

Caigoy Janoras is ordained in the UCCP and is the elected conference minister of her region of southeast Mindanao. She has served at several regional churches in the Philippines, where she has been involved in the implementation of development programs focused on education, environmental justice, and faith-based community organizing.

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Office of the Chaplain in collaboration with the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ. For more information or disability accommodations, contact jtruax@carleton.edu or call (507) 222-4003. The Gould Library is located on the Carleton campus off of College Street; it is also accessible via Highway 19 in Northfield.

Written by Alex Korsunsky '12