This summer, our team of five program assistants at Be the Change Earth Alliance (BTCEA) were tasked with Student Leadership for Change (SLC) revisions. We wanted these lessons to match our important values of justice, anti-racism, anti-oppression, and diversity.
As we looked through the lesson plans, we noticed some things that didn't feel right. For example, some resources in the lesson plans spoke about BIPOC communities from a white person’s perspective, instead of someone in that community. Some lesson plan’s only included BIPOC perspectives 3-4 pages into the workbook, positioning them as something of an after note. We also identified some outdated language, and had critiques around the general structure of some of the lesson plans, feeling they could be more oriented around anti-oppression and anti-racism than they currently are. We wanted to change this and make sure the lessons respect and centre the perspectives of the people they talk about. Social justice and environmental justice are intrinsically linked. We understood that the content we offer to educators must not only empower students but also emphasize that climate and environmental justice must include all other fights for justice.