Please join us on Monday, 9/29 for an evening with May from Panalipdan-Mindanao! Hear her report back from the historic Climate Change march in NYC.

May will be discussing various campaigns that Panalipdan are working on in addition to the rehabilitation efforts after Typhoon Haiyan.

Monday, 9/29 6:30pm

@ Antioch University (2326 6th Ave, Seattle – Room 100)
6:30pm Potluck (Please bring something to share) 
7:00 – 8:00pm Program
For more info: contact – puso.seattle@gmail.com

Bio:
May Vargas has been an indigenous people’s advocate since 2001. She has held various positions in the Alliance for the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples (a Manila – based IP advocacy group from 2001 to 2004, the Moro-Christian People’s Alliance from 2004 to 2006 and the Solidarity Action Group for Indigenous Peoples (SAGIP) from 2006 to 2009 upon her transfer to work in the Davao Region.

She co-founded the Exodus for Justice and Peace together with religous peoples from the roman catholic and protestant congregations and churches in 2008 at the height of the massive militarization and mining and logging onslaught against the Mandaya IPs in Davao Oriental, and the Manobos of Compostela.

Since the formation of EJP, she was also part of the secretariat for the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the UCCP – SEMJUR under the leadership of Bishops Claro and Villasanta.

This JPIC endeavor expanded and thus gave way for the reactivation of Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao, an ecological justice network based in Southern Mindanao whose main focus is the empowerment of IP and farmer communities facing threats of development aggression such as largescale and foreign mining, coal plants and coal mining among others. The JPIC – UCCP became a major player in Panalipdan – SMR giving it a big space in its endeavors.

In 2012, May Vargas was invited to attend the Alternative Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa. Here she became a member of the WCC-Ecological Debt Team together with key persons from Latin America and South Africa led by Athena Peralta. In 2012, she represented WCC Eco-Debt Team in Justica Global’s Meeting of people affected by Brazil’s largest mining corporation Vale. She also participated in the Cupula Dos Povos, a people-led gathering parallel to the UN RIO +20 Summit.

Her work with ecumenical movements continue as she perseveres with her natmin, and ecological justice work.

With Panalipdan SMR, she also contributed to church-led endeavors in response to climate change and disasters. When Category 5 storm Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) hit Southeastern Mindanao, Panalipdan together with churches and other NGO’s formed Bulig Alang sa Mindanao, or HELP for Mindanao (Balsa Mindanao).

Together with the various people’s organizations, NGOs, and various religous congregations, they led in the rebuilding of disaster stricken communities through a comprehensive rehabilitation program, beyond emergency and relief.

BALSA-MINDANAO has led in rebuilding efforts in Typhoon Pablo areas through the School Rebuilding program, sustainable agriculture and rainforestation programs, climate justice advocacy and community empowerment. These services continue up to the present.

In 2014, when Yolanda devastated the Visayas, BALSA MINADANO launched waves of missions to assist in the emergency and rehabilitation of communities. The Pilgrimage Ground Zero (PGZ), composed of 39 roman catholic congregations and some 30 members of various protestant churches was one of the biggest church-led responses to Yolanda focusing on psycho-social intervention and sustainable agriculture.

This year, she was part of the World Council of Churches’ delegation to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) and the People’s Climate Justice March in New York.#