Unit 2 Destination Discussion: Hurricane Sandy

Advance Reading: Members of the group should read Chapter Two and the section from Chapter Three,  “Rebuilding, and Reinventing, the Public Sphere”of This Changes Everything.


Climate change is sometimes discussed as a “class-neutral” problem for society, the effects of which will be felt by all social groups.

  • In what ways does Klein challenge this idea in the sections we read for today?
  • Are there other ways not mentioned by Klein in which climate change might disproportionately affect certain communities and individuals?
  • Are there experiences you’ve had or events you’ve witnessed that lead you to support or argue with the “class neutral” idea of climate change?
  • Is there anything else you would wish to add to these chapters? Any voices or ideas Klein leaves out or shortchanges, in your view?

We’ve been reflecting together in this unit on the various identities and privileges we may bring with us to our work, and how they can both help and hinder us as we try to become more effective allies. The stories in Klein’s book so far feature people with very different levels of agency and social power – from major international corporations and wealthy governments to people trapped in New York’s public housing projects during natural disasters.

In light of your reading and your reflections for this unit:

  • Are there ways in which you “see yourself” in the reading for today?
  • Are there people or institutions to which you particularly relate in the stories told so far? How would you situate yourself, if at all, in the narrative Klein is building? How do these stories relate to the themes of our unit on “Who We Are Together,” and our broader conversation about identity and privilege?

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Heather Vickery is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with UU congregations, State Action Networks, past UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) program participants, and regional staff in order to expand engagement in UUSC and UUCSJ’s work. As the Coordinator for Congregational Activism, she manages the workshop offerings and group visits to the UUSC/UUCSJ office and assists with communications for the Activism and Justice Education Team. Heather is an active member of the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network and a dedicated dog-mom to her rescue puppy Nova.

Heather may be contacted at hvickery@uucsj.org and 617-301-4303