Be The Change Earth Alliance is partnering with The UBC Climate Hub to offer free workshops to empower high school aged youth to take action on climate change. Many resources already exist to teach youth about the science of climate change and the urgent threat it poses to our society. Evidence suggests, however, that informing youth about climate change is not enough, and that providing presentations only on the science of climate change can leave participants feeling worried, anxious, and unable to engage.
Our workshops aim to supplement existing resources with information about how high school students can become “Climate Ambassadors” and encourage their local communities to take action on climate change. By empowering young people to act and demonstrating how effective their actions can be, we aim to foster a sense of agency and purpose.
Each workshop is facilitated by UBC student volunteers, who can meaningfully relate to and engage with their high school peers. Workshops can occur in classrooms, before or after school, in community centers, or at the UBC Climate Hub.
Each workshop lasts roughly one hour and covers the following:
- An open discussion on students associations, ideas and feelings regarding climate change, with an emphasis on validating student experiences
- An introduction to the concept of climate justice and to the 12 year window to make large-scale changes to our socio-economic systems identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in a special report released last year.
- Personal stories from the facilitators on how they became motivated to take climate action
- Stories of other teens locally and internationally who are stepping up to act on climate, and what we can learn from them
- An activity to guide students in creating their own “climate story” and identifying a call to action and a target audience
Objectives for the workshop include:
- Provide participants with hope and agency through compelling, powerful, and inspiring stories.
- Affirm participants experiences and feelings about climate change.
- Help participants understand climate change as a social justice issue, not just an environmental crisis.
- Give participants tools and frameworks to be more effective climate activists and communicators.
- Activate participants’ imaginations for effective strategies to encourage others to support climate solutions, policies, and action.
Be The Change Earth Alliance and the UBC Climate Hub are grateful for our sponsors, Vancity and the UBC Community-University Engagement (CUES) Fund, who have generously supported this initiative.