Extraordinary Vatican Event to Illuminate Pope Francis' Climate Message
Sustainia Awards Ceremony last night ended with the World Bank Group's global partnership program Connect4Climate announcing Fiat Lux: Illuminating our Common Home. On Dec. 8, from 1 - 4 p.m. ET at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, the World Bank Group will be bringing together an innovative coalition of partners to help relay Pope Francis' message to conserve our common home and take on climate change as the negotiations in Paris reach their final stages. The moral imperative to conserve our common home will encourage an ambitious outcome at COP21 by sending a message of light from the Vatican.
"We are proud to support the realization of this gift of art to Pope Francis and to work with our creative partners to highlight the biggest issues facing mankind: poverty and climate change," Lucia Grenna, program manager of the World Bank Group's Connect4Climate global partnership program, said. "This artistic display will tell a powerful visual story of the interdependency of all life on Earth with our environment and we hope inspire the teams in Paris to push for the most ambitious deal possible."
Connect4Climate is excited to bring together a humanitarian coalition—Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Inc., Li Ka Shing Foundation and Okeanos, in partnership with The Oceanic Preservation Society and Obscura Digital—to present the gift of contemporary public art to Pope Francis on the opening day of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.
At this unprecedented and historic event beautiful images of our shared natural world will be projected onto the façade of St. Peter's Basilica in a contemporary work of art that tells the visual story of the interdependency of humans and life on Earth with the planet, in order to educate and inspire change around the climate crisis across generations, cultures, languages, religions and class.
"We are honored to be working with the Vatican to raise awareness of an issue so critical to our shared goal of ending extreme poverty," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. "The poorest people in the world are disproportionately affected by the effects of a warming climate and are most vulnerable to natural disasters and extreme weather. This impressive initiative will draw global attention to the urgency of tackling climate change for the sake of people and our planet."
The large-scale architectural public art installation is inspired by the themes of climate change, human dignity and the Earth's living creatures in the encyclical Laudato Si' of Pope Francis. Programmed to coincide not only with the Jubilee, but also with COP21 in Paris, the historic occasion will call on citizens of the world to join a global movement to protect our common home. The projection can be viewed live by those at St. Peter's Basilica and via live global television broadcasts and online streaming.
The cinematic event will feature the work of some of the world's most notable humanistic and nature photographers and filmmakers including Sebastião Salgado (Genesi and Contrasto), Joel Sartore (National Geographic Photo Ark), Yann Arthus Bertrand (Human), David Doubilet, Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson (Samsara), Howard Hall, Shawn Heinrichs, Greg Huglin, Chris Jordan, Steve McCurry, Paul Nicklenand Louie Schwartzberg. The projection is curated by Louie Psihoyos and Travis Threlkel, and produced by Obscura Digital.
“This critical time in history is when we must reach people in creative ways to illuminate what is happening to our common home," concluded Travis Threlkel, founder and chief creative officer of Obscura Digital.
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It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.
Keeping Schools Safe<p>What will safer schools look like?</p><p>In a <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2766822" target="_blank">JAMA article</a> published last month, <a href="https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/1781/joshua-m-sharfstein" target="_blank">Dr. Joshua Sharfstein</a>, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, outlined suggestions — many of which are similar to AAP's.</p><p>Remote learning protocols must stay in place, especially as some schools stagger home and in-building learning. If another shutdown needs to occur, children will rely on distance learning completely, so it must be easy to switch to, he said.</p><p>He suggested giving parents a daily checklist to document their child's health. Kids should be screened quickly on arrival and be given hygiene supplies. Maintenance staff should use appropriate PPE and have regular cleaning schedules. A notification system should be in place if a case is identified, Sharfstein recommended.</p><p><a href="https://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/faculty/erika-martin" target="_blank">Erika Martin</a>, PhD, an associate professor of public administration and policy at University at Albany, said nutrition assistance and health services should be included. She called for tutoring programs with virtual options as well as technology access.</p>
Supporting Staff<p>Teachers and staff will be affected by safeguarding measures, noted <a href="https://directory.sph.umn.edu/bio/sph-a-z/rachel-widome" target="_blank">Rachel Widome</a>, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at University of Minnesota.</p><p>"In order for all of the in-school precautions to work well, we'll be asking a lot of teachers and staff," Widome told Healthline. In addition to their usual workload, they'll now be asked to monitor mask-wearing, ensure children are keeping distance, and be aware of any symptoms.</p><p>Along with Sharfstein, Widome called for an increase in financial support. More employees will likely be required so teachers and staff members can keep up with the added demands.</p>
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