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Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

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Lowlander Center

A center for education, research, and advocacy working in the heart of bayou country in Louisiana.
Two Indigenous villagers speak in Grand Bayou Village, Louisiana

LOCATION: Gray, Louisiana

Based in the bayous of Louisiana, Lowlander Center is a non-profit organization supporting lowland people and places through education, research, and advocacy. Lowlander works in coalition with Indigenous tribes impacted by climate change as they advocate for their rights, while also building bridges with communities from across the country who face similar challenges.

UUSC’s long-running partnership with Lowlander Center focuses on providing continued legal support and resources to the tribes as they advocate to adapt and respond to the climate crisis in self-determined ways. This work includes shaping recommendations to policymakers to ensure that climate adaptation and resettlement processes are led by and for the communities most impacted by climate destruction. 

UUSC supports Lowlander Center’s work on an adaptation tool developed for communities who are faced with the difficult decision to relocate because of climate-induced land erosion and other environmental challenges. This “best-practice” matrix includes human rights tenets, such as the right to an adequate standard of living and the rights of Indigenous peoples to be actively involved in the development of social programs that affect them. It also includes sound environmental practices integrated into the community’s redevelopment plans, including the use of native plant species, renewable energy sources, and sustainability practices. Lowlander Center also hopes to pilot innovative solutions to help communities secure land and support those who must resettle to lead their relocation.

Image Credit: UUSC