As diverse voices and people of faith we share a common concern for the Earth and for the health and well-being of all Ohioans.
Speakers at the Rally (11am-1pm) include:
Rabbi Michael Ungar was born and raised in the Detroit area and received his undergraduate degree in Spanish and Political Science from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. He has studied extensively in Central and South America, as well as Israel. Rabbi Ungar was ordained in 1992 at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and also holds a Masters of Holocaust Education from that institution. Before coming to Columbus in 2002 as Tifereth Israel’s Associate Rabbi, Rabbi Ungar served as Rabbi at Temple B’nai Israel in Toledo, Ohio and Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Montclair, New Jersey and Assistant Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Amoona in St. Louis, Missouri.
Rabbi Ungar is a past-President of the Columbus Board of Rabbis, and is a member of the Columbus Jewish Federation’s Planning and Allocations Committee as well as the JCC’s membership committee. In the general community, he is involved with the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, BREAD, the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the Community Shelter Board. Rabbi Ungar is married to Michele Ungar, who grew up at Tifereth Israel. They have five children, Rami, Adi, Maya, Rachel and Liat – and a hyperactive puppy named Belle.
Marianist Sister Leanne Jablonski FMI, PhD is an ecologist, educator and pastoral minister engaged in climate science, faith and justice outreach regionally to nationally. Dr. Jablonski directs the Marianist Environmental Education Center in east Dayton (meec.udayton.edu) is past chair of the Ecological Society of America environmental justice section and is Scholar In Residence for faith and environment with the University of Dayton’s Hanley Sustainability Institute, Sr. Leanne serves as Ohio Coordinator for the Catholic Climate Covenant and leads the environment team of Nuns On the Bus Ohio.
Dr. Tony Minor is the Senior Pastor of the Community of Faith Assembly in Cleveland, Ohio and serves on the Council of Bishops for Higher Ground Assembly based out of Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Minor is a graduate of Morehouse College with a B.A. in English. He continued his education at the Interdenominational Theological Center, where he received a Master of Divinity in Christian Ethics and Public Policy as a Benjamin Elijah Mays Fellowship Scholar. Dr. Minor earned the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) degree from the United Theological Seminary as a Martin Luther King Scholar under the direction of Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, the former Senior Pastor of the historic Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem and former Chief of Staff for Dr. Martin Luther King’s South Christian Leadership Conference. He is a strong voice for social justice and is a former aide to Ambassador Andrew Young and Dr. Joseph Lowery, two former associates of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The New York Times and USA Today cited him for his work in voter empowerment and election protection through People for the American Way. He has a diverse background and expertise in managing programs that target low-income individuals in the Greater Cleveland area and has held top administrative positions serving in public housing, HIV/AIDS awareness, and fatherhood. He currently serves as the Advocacy Director at the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, one of the largest social service agencies in Greater Cleveland, where he has become a leader in environmental justice and leading congregations to address health disparities. He currently serves on several boards including Metro Health Hospital, United Way of Greater Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Urban League, Cleveland Treatment Center, and Nueva Luz, Inc. He is married to Natoya Walker, a Cleveland native who is the Chief of Public Affairs for Mayor Frank Jackson. They have two sons, Scott, age 8, and Tommy, age 20, who is a student at Morehouse College.
Rev. Deborah Conklin is pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Bowling Green Ohio and is the executive Director of a transitional housing program for homeless women recovery from chemical dependency. Her advocacy work began in 1988 working for the Toledo Metropolitan Mission where she led an Employment Readiness and Placement project for African-American young men, the highest unemployed population in most communities. Following this work she continued her social justice career in the area of homelessness and served as the first Director of the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board from 2005-12. For the last three years she has focused her justice advocacy in Creation Care believing that if our common home is not valued, cared for and well – then the other social ills and neglects we share won’t stand a chance to be overcome and moved to wellness for all. She believes her passion for care for creation began in 1973 when she, an urbanite, married a third generation farmer in rural America where she and her husband have raised their own food and five children. She remains ever hopeful for she trusts in a God who will not abandon us to our worse but always calls us forward to strive for our best. She is pleased to be part of a long stream of advocates and believes the waters will continue to run throughout the generations until justice prevails for all of God’s creation and creatures.
Peter Galbraith became pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Nelsonville, Ohio in February of 2011. Prior to coming to Nelsonville, Peter worked as a hospital chaplain at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California. He also taught English as a second language for three years in Vietnam, and served there another two years in organizational leadership. Peter has a B.A. from Miami University of Ohio, and both an M.A. in Cross-Cultural Studies and M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary. Peter is involved locally with Hocking College Campus Ministry and the Nelsonville Rotary Club. In his free time, Peter loves a good game of tennis, good film and television, spending quality time with his wife, and staying connected with family and friends near and far.
Abigail Tamkin is a PhD candidate at Ohio State in Ecological Engineering, where she studies hydrocarbons and stormwater. She attends Veritas Community Church and is a Graduate Fellow of the Au Sable Institute for Environmental Studies. She is interested in the interplay between Christianity, environmentalism, and consumerism, and loves to read, hike, bike, cook, eat, and garden.
Growing up in Steubenville Ohio during the 70s, I lived in the most polluted city in America and was a participant in Harvard’s Six City Lung study. Allergies and pulmonary issues run rampant in my family so clean air is of utmost importance to my family’s health. My husband, Thomie Timmons and I have three sons – two in college age sons and one middle school. My youngest son has suffered from asthma since he was 6 months old. Professionally, I am a former high school teacher and principal who has transitioned into a small business owner. My company, EnvisionEdPlus is an innovation networking partner supporting education, non-profits and communities as they develop systems to improve outcomes for children in ways that build resiliency skills and offer equity for all. My greatest wish is that my grandchildren never experience the air quality alerts which forced my youngest son, a severe asthmatic, to play inside so many times during his childhood.