Youth for Eco-Justice: Hierald Kane-Osorto

My name is Hierald Kane-Osorto and I am currently a member of the 23rd Century Movement a group made up of committed people from the Global South and the Global North issuing a challenge: to live intentionally and solidariously with each other and Mother Earth in every moment, in the consciousness that each action affects the present and future life. My role is to provide support to several processes at the local, national, and global level as we work towards social transformation through a culture of peace. In addition, I am the Co-Chair of the World Student Christian Federation-North America and I am the North American representative on the Interfaith Youth Council and the Co-Convener for the North American Interfaith Youth Network both which are a part of Religions for Peace.

I am a currently citizen of the United States with roots in the country of my ancestors El Salvador; I grew up in a small Pentecostal church in Newark, New Jersey but have gone through a very exciting faith journey and have recently been connecting myself to the Lutheran church in the U.S. (ELCA) and attending Luther Place Memorial Place in Washington, DC. When I think about what I am most passionate about I would say the following: discerning some of the most critical issues of our day: our relationship with the earth, climate change, and sustainability and figuring out the role we play in addressing these as young people of faith ensuring that the world we are working towards is one that celebrates and honors creation. I am passionate about the power young people have to not only learn about these realities but to take hold of opportunities to provide real solutions for transformation.

As a person deeply connected with one of the most vulnerable country in the Americas, El Salvador, the second most deforested country after Haiti, and one of the countries most impacted by climate change: I want the negotiations on Climate Change in Durban to be about figuring out how our world can live the abundant life that our creator has given for all of us to have. I want the negotiations to be a place where the stories that I hear daily in DC from young people who do not have access to nutritious healthy foods, the stories of violence of my people in El Salvador and the deaths many young people have faced can be heard. I want Durban to be a place where we come out with a commitment, a responsibility to understand how the planet is intricately connected with the response we must take to the pressing needs of humanity. I want the leaders of the world to hear the cry of our people from around the world that have urged all of us to transform the systems that have caused so much destruction, I want the faith community to be the power that they are, to be the voice that, “discerns the signs of our times.” A powerful witness to who we should be in the world today.

When I think about the U.S. and the faith communities that I am involved in I think of my desire that they live out their prophetic voice, to move from a position that does not simply maintain the current production and consumption models that the global north has continually promoted but that reimagines the world as we need and starts creating it. I want our country and church to actively figure out with others how to truly live out the concept of “on earth as it is in heaven.” I want our churches to live out a life that follows in the footsteps of Jesus by living intentionally with others and the earth. I want this country to get to place of understanding solidariousness as my friend explains it “our ability to see ourselves as being one with the “other” and understand that every personal or collective action affects all of humanity and the planet, for these reasons we are called to a conscious practice.” There is a powerful quote by one of my heroines Grace Lee Boggs that I think sums it all up for me and the role I see myself having in this, it’s as follows: “Until I change, society will not change. When I change, society can change. Revolutions involve two-sided transformation. They are not just struggles for power. That’s a very macho view. Revolutions are {r}evolution.” At the end of the day my passions, convictions come down to one thing and that is love, may we all love like we have never loved before and move onward full of hope and strength.

In Solidarity,

Hierald

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