Change is challenging.
EcoSuperior Environmental Programs is hosting an event that aims to inspire 120 youth from across Northwestern Ontario to meet the challenge and create positive change through action. Students from eight school boards across the region are gathering tomorrow at Fort William Historical Park for three days of learning, planning and collaborating on climate change action to take home to their communities.
In partnership with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board and Northern Ontario Education Leaders (NOEL), EcoSuperior has designed a 2-tiered project to bring the youth voice to the forefront of climate action. The project, titled Agents of Change, launches with a Climate Action Conference, from September 19-21 at Fort William Historical Park, to engage students in climate change education, leadership skills, and action campaign development. Phase two will see students return to their home communities to implement a climate action project that will ultimately contribute to a reduction in GHG emissions.
Brad Oster, of the Northwest Catholic District School Board, says they are very pleased to be bringing students to Thunder Bay for the conference.
“Students and staff at The Northwest Catholic District School Board recognize the importance of sustaining a healthy earth, and we are excited to take part in a wonderful learning project for students and staff that will support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Charlene Cavanagh at the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board added, “The conference hopes to empower our students to become future leaders in sustaining our environment. Our hope is that they can return to their school communities to educate and inspire others with their developed knowledge on climate change and their intentions to carry out their climate change projects.”
Keynote speakers for the three-day conference include Kelsey Juliana, an Oregon-based university student. Kelsey is the lead plaintiff in a Constitutional Climate Change lawsuit along with 20 other youth against the United States Government. Kelsey is also offering a presentation on climate activism at Lakehead University, Wednesday, September 19 at 1 pm in the Faculty Lounge.
Ana Gonzales Guerrero, a young professional with the Youth Climate Lab, works to create an environment where youth are engaged and mobilized to channel their innovation and creativity into climate policy and climate entrepreneurship. Hannah Alper a fourteen-year-old with the Me to We organization has worked hard at engaging youth to create positive change. All three young women will be helping to inspire local students during the conference.
Christy Radbourne with Lakehead Public Schools notes, “The experiences at Agents of Change support the development of the Ministry of Education’s 21st-century learning competencies such as problem-solving, critical thinking, entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity and will help students connect these skills to their community as engaged citizens.”
Local business sponsors supporting the event include Eat Local Pizza, FORM Architecture, Northern Bioscience, Thunder Bay Field Naturalists, Environment North, EarthCare Thunder Bay, and Copperfin Credit Union. Services are also being provided in-kind by Kay Lee Photography, Kasper Busing, Matawa Learning Centre, and Science North.
“Our goal over the three-day event is to help students understand the urgency of climate change and the importance of hope for the future,” says Program Coordinator Erin Moir. “We are so excited to see what projects the students develop, and to watch change happen in Northwestern Ontario communities.”
Further information is available at www.ecosuperior.org/cap