Community-Engaged Research and the Climate Crisis

October 26, 2022

A symposium hosted by SFU Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERi) and the UBC Centre for Climate Justice



Climate crisis is already unfolding across BC: heat domes, wildfires, and floods have had devastating impacts on communities throughout the province, both urban and rural. These impacts – like other social and environmental injustices – are unevenly distributed, often exacerbating existing harms to Indigenous peoples, communities of colour, and the underhoused or socially vulnerable.

Community-engaged research offers powerful methods for understanding these impacts, increasing the capacity of under-resourced communities to plan for and live through them, and amplifying the stories and visions of change coming from those living through the climate crisis. But there is a tension between the pace and scale of community-engaged research – which requires that relationships be built with care, patience, and close attention to context – and the urgency of the global climate crisis. How then can we do community-engaged research at the speed of the climate emergency? What role can community-engaged research play in creating change that is both globally impactful and sensitive to local realities?

This symposium brings together community organizers, movement and youth leaders, media makers/storytellers, researchers, and other practitioners of climate justice to share practices, stories, and lessons to collectively strengthen our ability to advance climate justice. The one-day event will foster discussion and connection among initiatives centred on three themes:

  1. Collaborative research and climate responses that advance Indigenous sovereignty;
  2. Storytelling for community resilience and policy change; and
  3. Youth-driven research and engagement for climate justice. 

The climate crisis symposium was held on the 20th of October 2022.  Thank you to everyone who has attended and participated. 


Date: Thursday, October 20th, 2022
Time: 9am - 5pm PT


312 Main St, Vancouver BC

NOTE: This event will be held in-person only therefore please only register if you are able to attend in-person at 312 Main in Vancouver on October 20th.


J.T. Sandu (aka Ruby Diamond)

Megaphone Magazine

Peter Thompson

Megaphone Magazine

Opening Roundtable: Why engage communities in climate research?

Alison Shaw

Executive Director, Action Team on Climate (SFU)

Taco Niet

Assistant Professor, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering (SFU)

Rowan Gentleman-Sylvester

Programs Manager, CityHive

Lerato Chondoma

Associate Director, UBC Indigenous Research Support Initiative

Zafar Adeel

Executive Director, Pacific Water Research Centre

Professor of Professional Practice, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering (SFU)

Session 1: Climate responses that affirm Indigenous Sovereignty

Onyx Sloan-Morgan

Assistant Professor (UBC)

Cliff Atleo

Assistant Professor - Resource and Environmental Management (SFU)

Theresa Morris

Off-reserve Councillor for Binche Whut’en

Georgia Lloyd-Smith

Staff Lawyer, West Coast Environmental Law

Summer Tyance

RELAW Communications Coordinator, West Coast Environmental Law

Session 2: Storytelling for climate resilience and policy change

Sean Holman

Director - Climate Disaster Project

Steph Kwetásel'wet Wood

Journalist - The Narwhal

Aldyn Chwelos

Senior Research Associate – Climate Disaster Project

Grace Nosek

lawyer, climate storyteller, and founder of the UBC Climate Hub

Session 3: Youth-driven, climate-focused CER

Meghan Wise

UBC Climate Hub Coordinator

Edgard Villanueva-Cruz

Tahltan,Tseskiya Project facilitator - Aboriginal Life In Vancouver Enhancement Society (ALIVE)

Jessica Savoy

Nisga'a Project faciltator - Aboriginal Life In Vancouver Enhancement Society (ALIVE)

Meg Holden

Professor - Urban Studies and Resource and Environmental Management (SFU)

Michelle Xie

Climate Resilience Lead, UBC Climate Hub and Student Representative from Climate Justice Research Collaborative