Art of Activism – Sustainability Initiatives at Lakehead University

Lakehead University
Lakehead University Image: NNL

LUSU Sustainability Initiatives

THUNDER BAY, On – On February 6, 2018, NNL attended and was welcomed by a group of diversely cultural intellectual people who participated in a discussion with soft-spoken, gentle spirited Activists Shadiya Aidid and Payton Wilkins. I was truly intrigued and honoured to participate and to listen to the stories of these inspiring people with the different struggles and concerns to make a difference with empowerment coming from the different career choices but with the same goal in mind and that is equality. Equality as every human being should be.

SHADIYA AIDID - Soft Spoken Activist
SHADIYA AIDID – Soft Spoken Activist

Shadiya Aidid is a Spoken Word Artist who has been performing on stages across Canada since 2013. Growing up in a Somali household, storytelling was a large part of her childhood, and as a result, her heritage is ingrained in the art that she creates. Some of the themes that she explores in her craft are female empowerment, environmental and social justice, migration and belonging. Her interest in social and environmental justice sparked after consuming documentary after documentary on the degradation of our planet, including the unfair burden put on marginalized countries and communities. She has a degree in Environmental Studies from York University and is interested in pursuing a masters degree under the topic of food and animal justice. She currently works in Thunder Bay, Ontario as the Sustainability Coordinator for the Lakehead University Student Union.

“Earth Provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed”, Mahatma Ghandi

it was nice to see women come together to discuss their understanding of the society in an open concept bringing solutions forward to work together.  Working together and staying dedicated to the very end as the struggle continues to support one another and become stronger we will be united as one nation one country one world for family land and water.  The idea is to break down the barriers and to be free to think outside the box.

A trendy act amongst some during talks to confirm inspiration is acknowledged was snapping the fingers as a diverse group bringing a message of support in a calmer empowering way instead of yahooing, or stomping, or patting on the back respecting the sacred space similar to smudging down with a feather in our indigenous culture.

Author Ingrid R G Waldron - There is something in the water
Author Ingrid R G Waldron – There is something in the water

Through writing and public speaking within different areas of politics or environmental justice such as a book called, “There is something in the Water”, written by Ingrid R G Waldron, based on Environmental racism and the health impacts in indigenous and black communities.  Ingrid Waldron, PhD. is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University, the Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project), and the Co-Chair of Dalhousie University’s Black Faculty & Staff Caucus. Ingrid’s scholarship is driven by a long-standing interest in looking at the many ways in which spaces and communities are organized by structures of colonialism and gendered racial capitalism. Her research, teaching, and community leadership and advocacy work are examining and addressing the relationship among histories of colonization in Indigenous, Black, and other racialized communities, state-sanctioned racial and gendered violence within health, education, employment, child welfare, environment, and criminal justice, and their impacts on health and well-being in Indigenous, Black, immigrant, refugee, and other racialized communities in Nova Scotia and Canada.

These important issues are being talked about.  It is being shared with everyone in the community. Whether it be political or personal,  Lakehead University is offering many upcoming gatherings in many interests.  You can find them on their website at


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