Serving on non-profit boards and being politically engaged in my local community has been one of the most rewarding and stimulating experiences of my life. It has taught me a great deal more about the value of the humanities in the public sphere and about how many people do quiet and often unacknowledged work to make democracy work.
Provo City Council
In the fall of 2017 I was elected to serve on the City Council for the City of Provo. My term begins in 2018 and will conclude at the end of 2021. I keep a website to update my constituents about issues. It is a wonderful challenge to put a humanities education into practice.
The Nature Conservancy
I am proud to serve on the Advisory Board of The Nature Conservancy for the state of Utah. I admire their pragmatic and effective approach to conservation. Because of my work in Utah to build a faith-based approach to stewardship, in 2013 I was awarded the Nature Conservancy Partner of the Year. In my acceptance speech, you can read why I believe that working for the environment is good for democracy.
Provo’s Sustainability and Natural Resources Committee
For a number of years now, I have served on Provo City’s inaugural Sustainability and Natural Resources Committee where we have worked to protect agricultural land, promote an anti-idling campaign, improve recycling services, promote clean air, public transportation, and other efforts. Thanks to the work of Mayor John Curtis, Provo is now the leading city in Utah Valley for conservation efforts.
From 2014-2017, I served on the board of Utah Humanities. Prior to this formal appointment, I was involved in UH as a public speaker, addressing various audiences throughout the state on environmental stewardship and as a participant in a number of events at the Utah Book Festival (sponsored by UH), including a public interview with Marilynne Robinson in 2012 and with Derek Walcott in 2000.
LDS Earth Stewardship
I am a founding board member of LDS Earth Stewardship, an organization whose mission is to honor the Creator by celebrating and living the principles of earth stewardship in the restored gospel. I have blogged on occasion on behalf of LDSES and written a handful of Op Eds by proudly identifying myself as associated with LDSES. For example, I wrote about climate change in the Deseret News and about public lands and the Bears Ears National Monument, both co-authored with Mitch Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network. LDSES is primarily an educational organization that wants to help members of the LDS faith rekindle their passion for stewardship that is so clearly called for in the restored gospel. We were thrilled to see the LDS Church develop its own website dedicated to conservation and stewardship in 2015.
Utah Interfaith Power and Light
From 2009-2014, I served on the Executive Board of Utah Interfaith Power and Light, including three years as its chair. UIPL is a wonderful organization representing members of various faith traditions in Utah united in their desire to promote religious values to fight climate change. Although small, UIPL has made a significant impact in helping communities of worship to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and raise greater awareness about climate change. In 2010, the Salt Lake Tribune wrote about how members of UIPL responded to the announcement of new green features of LDS chapels.