Youth for Climate Justice
Action for Peace #86
From 26 – 30 July the ‘Youth for Climate Justice’ Project brought together a small group of young people to learn about climate justice and how we can help to achieve it through individual and systematic change. The aim of the project was to empower young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to advocate for climate justice. The project was facilitated by two of VSI’s young full-time ESC volunteers, Maria and Aine.
Over the course of five days, Maria and Aine led the participants through a series of interactive and informal workshops, looking at the climate crisis from a human-centred perspective, focusing on the inequalities created by climate change, nationally and globally, and recognising climate action as one part of broader action towards reducing inequalities and poverty, to create a better future for all.
On Day 1, they focused on getting to know the participants and giving them the opportunity to get to know one another! They introduced them to the concept of Climate Justice, how Climate Change affects people unequally and unfairly, and how activism is needed to address that inequality and injustice. For one of the activities they had participants consider the injustices of climate change and the inequalities attached to climate justice, both globally and nationally using the key questions: Who is responsible? Who is affected? Who can adapt? and Who can decide? See their Jamboards below for their contributions!
On Day 2, the group explored the inequalities of climate change more in-depth through ‘Parata,’ a role-play activity in which participants had to develop characters and react accordingly to different situations to highlight deeply-rooted inequities between class, race, gender and much more. Afterwards, they delved into the topic of classism and climate justice, how to make the climate justice movement more inclusive, how the Coronavirus and Climate Justice are connected and had a run-down of what Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are linked to Climate Justice. They also held a screening of the uplifting documentary, 2040, an optimistic guide to workable regenerative community projects to achieve a better future for all.
On Day 3, they invited participants to think more about the human-centered approach to Climate Justice by asking them to think of climate solutions that are also social justice solutions. They had them focus on gender equality, greener cities and indigenous communities. This after was followed by a Utopia Visualisation to get the positivity, inspiration and creative juices flowing! Participants imagined what their future Utopia would look like and drew pictures of this vision. They later went into Breakout Rooms in small groups to create a Jamboard of their visualisation. See below for an example! After this, participants began working together to create a social media campaign to raise awareness of climate justice and encourage others to get involved in the movement. Trainers invited the participants to think about what they wished they saw on social media regarding Climate Justice and how can we get more people engaged in the topic. This campaign is being shared widely by VSI on their social media channels and externally with the international and national partners and affiliates. Check out their content in the Social Media Campaign Gallery here.
On Day 4, participants had no workshops but were working together in small groups to create their content for our campaign!
Day 5 was the last day and the project ended on a high note by engaging the participants in a reflection of their own Climate Justice learning journey and their next steps for activism. If you want to take action and don’t know where to start and want some inspiration, check out their ‘Next Steps in Activism’ padlet with all the resources and information needed to do so!
It was a fantastic experience that couldn’t have been made possible without the wonderful participants who were a joy to have join the trainers for the project!
The next steps for this project is to support participants to organise and facilitate their own climate justice workshop for VSI volunteers in September! Professional online facilitation training will be provided to these participants to help them deliver their workshop. Stay tuned to see how this goes!
If you’re interested in learning more about climate justice and don’t know where to start, take a peak at our Library of Resources and Actions for inspiration: https://tinyurl.com/b9h486sx