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Community Summit Series keynote sees climate justice advocates sharing how to take action post-COP26

November 22, 2021

Climate justice advocates urge people to get involved in grassroots movements and take climate action into their own hands, in response to lackluster international agreements at the recent COP26 climate summit and catastrophic flooding in B.C.


The post-COP26 landscape will be laid out at Hope in Resistance: Stories of Climate Justice, the keynote event of Towards Equity, SFU Public Square’s 2021 Community Summit Series on Thursday, Nov. 25.

Hosted by SFU Public Square, in partnership with Vancity, the event features three leading climate justice advocates, who will share their thoughts on the outcome of the COP26 climate summit and discuss the necessity of hope and joy in fighting the climate crisis at a local level. 

“Following the COP26 climate summit and seeing the recent devastation that climate change-related flooding has caused across British Columbia, people are rightfully looking for ways to get involved in climate justice,” says SFU president Joy Johnson. “Each panelist speaking at Hope in Resistance inspires our communities to move forward with positive intent, knowing that we have the power to affect change."

Hosted by Nahlah Ayed, from CBC Radio One’s Ideas, the keynote event features Anjali Appadurai, the climate justice lead for Sierra Club BC; Melina Laboucan-Massimo, founder of Sacred Earth Solar, host of APTN’s Power to the People and co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action; and Naisha Khan, co-founder of Banking on a Better Future and a central organizer with Sustainabiliteens and Climate Strike Canada. 

The free public event will be livestreamed from The Cultch’s Historic Theatre in East Vancouver.

“COP26 indicated the need for movements and organizers like myself, because it’s evident the powers that be will not implement the necessary systematic change to address the scale of this crisis,” says Khan. “Change happens at the grassroots level and I implore people who are interested in climate justice to take action locally.” 

The speakers will showcase how local groups and communities around the world have long been taking action into their own hands through a climate justice lens, and provide resources for people interested in being more engaged on these issues.

“Many communities are already leading the way in the race against climate change,” says Laboucan-Massimo. “I had the privilege of traveling from coast to coast while filming Power to the People, a TV docuseries about Indigenous communities who are leading the way in the fight for climate justice by implementing solutions of food security, eco-housing and renewable energy in their homelands. These leaders and communities gave me hope to continue this work.”

The Community Summit is an annual gathering convened by SFU Public Square that focuses on a local or international issue of public concern. The Community Summit creates the space for citizens to come together to jointly research, discuss, identify solutions and take action on emerging and relevant issues.

This year’s summit, Towards Equity, explores the inequities and deficiencies of our institutions, and how we can take action together towards a more just, equitable and sustainable future.

“It’s clear that the climate crisis, and the actions we take to address it, affect every one of us. But not everyone is affected equally. And not everyone has the same ability to withstand the impacts and adapt to the new net-zero ‘normal’,” says Christine Bergeron, President & CEO, Vancity. “We can’t successfully transition to a net-zero economy if only those who can afford the adaptations make the transition.”

For more information on Hope in Resistance and the 2021 Community Summit Series, visit the Towards Equity homepage.

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