Grace (right) with Twin Cities Volunteer Emily Campbell (left) at the Pipeline 3 Protest organized by Honor the Earth and MN350
One fun fact about #LVC17 Volunteer Grace Corbin is that she is one of three twins serving in the Twin Cities this year (LVC Staff Member Deirdre Kanzer “promises” she didn’t do that intentionally…). She is from Grantsburg, WI and is a recent alum of Augsburg College (now Augsburg University), where she received a degree in Youth and Family Ministry. She is a huge Harry Potter fan, a body hair advocate, and loves music and volleyball. Grace is serving at the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA this year and living in the Winona House with five other lovely Volunteers.
Grace shared about her role at the Synod working as a “program associate”. Having this role in the Synod means that Grace serves in a couple of different positions – “one part of my position is working on the community organizing team for environmental justice. I work on the two different teams we have: water and energy. I am helping with campaigns in any capacity I can. The other part of my position is administrative assistant. I work front desks some days, and help keep the office going.” Grace has a unique opportunity in her position at the Synod to work with several incredible members of the Minneapolis community, the Lutheran community, AND the LVC Community (shout out to LVC Alum and local supporter Bob Hulteen – Twin Cities Wellstone House’s personal favorite member of the Synod staff – sorry, Grace).
A part of Grace’s position is organizing around environmental justice – which fits well into the type of justice work that Grace is most passionate about. “Over the last several years, environmental justice has become my biggest passion. The years spent outside, by the lake, and working at a Bible camp in the mountains has led me to care deeply about the earth around me. People need to take action on the climate crisis NOW! The urgency of the climate crisis cannot be overstated.”
When asked about her favorite part of working at the Synod, Grace talked about the Synod staff. “I am very excited to be working in an office with so many supportive and passionate co-workers. Right from the beginning everyone at the Synod has been very welcoming to me… the synod staff are [also] willing to ask the difficult questions and dream about what they hope the church to accomplish.”
Grace made the importance of her service as a Volunteer to life with a story about some of her work with Minneapolis faith communities. “Last Tuesday the EcoFaith Network in coalition with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light (MNIPL), ISAIAH, and Lutheran Advocacy launched the ‘Faith and Clean Energy Campaign.’ The coalition is working together to mobilize people of faith to become active participants in advocacy and action around renewable energy options. This event brought together over 60 faith leaders from different traditions. In order to make this event successful, lots of planning beforehand took place. The coalition met many times to talk about details, goals, and vision for the campaign. I have always known that to pull on most events it takes a large planning team. It became obvious, however, when my boss and I were reflecting on the event, that we could not have been that successful had it just been the two of us planning. It took ALL of the partners, their specific skills and relationships to make the event even possible. We also recognized, however, that the event would not have been the same had our organization not be part of it. We brought a lot to the table and helped shape the event. Needless to say, this event (which was only a kickoff to a larger campaign) helped me think about how important it is to have relationships outside of your own circle and what can happen when visionaries come together.”
We are so happy to have Grace in the LVC Community, and are so excited to see her next steps in serving the ELCA and the Minneapolis community in working for environmental justice.