Youth encouraged to change their world

Change Your World poster

Close to 500 Toronto and area youth attending the upcoming Change Your World conference will be encouraged to do just that – change their world locally and globally.

The main objective of Change Your World is to encourage youth to become leaders in their communities and make a global impact through their work and actions during a time of environmental concern and challenges.

York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) will host the sixth Change Your World conference, a celebration of youth involvement in environmental and social justice action, on Tuesday, April 7, from 7:30am to 2:30pm, at the Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan (formerly Colossus), 3555 Highway 7 West.

Change Your World April 7 poster

About 25 schools in the province will attend the conference, where a wide range of their projects and accomplishments will be featured and celebrated. Participants from the Durham, Halton, Peel and York regions, as well as Toronto, will have the opportunity to meet and build relationships with one another and take part in a variety of workshops.

“Flavour Shop Dance” is just one of the hands-on workshops that day. It will look at Toronto-style dance and the correlation between movement and expression, with FES alumnus Ryan Dela Cruz. Participants will learn and perform a mini routine. It’s hip-hop culture with a popular education approach.

In the “Drawing Ourselves as Nature” workshop, with master in environmental studies (MES) alumna Catherine Campbell of Montgomery’s Inn Museum, students will draw an object in nature in relation to themselves and learn about ways to uncover and share stories through art.

Students will participate in an intensive, hands-on charrette exploring design and land use in the “Changing Your World by Shaping Your Landscape” workshop with a York University MES alumna.

There will also be a chocolate workshop with FES alumnus Michael Sacco. Students will learn about the chocolate-making process, from bean to bar, including discussions on the history and cultural teachings of cacao, chocolate-making techniques, horizontal trade and forest garden permaculture.

Exhibitors, such as Covenant House and the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, who share strong connections with FES, will play an active role in the day’s events, sharing their insights and running interactive information sessions for all attendees, including teachers.

Tzeporah Berman
Tzeporah Berman

The conference’s keynote speaker will be York University MES alumna Tzeporah Berman, author of This Crazy Time: Living Our Environmental Challenge (Knopf Canada, 2011). Berman is a strategic adviser for several environmental organizations, First Nations and philanthropic advisers on clean energy, oil sands and pipelines. Her innumerable accolades include receiving the Eco-Hero Award at the November 2014 Planet in Focus Film Festival, contributing to the design of Greenpeace International’s Arctic campaign and being included in the BC Royal Museum’s exhibit of 150 people who have changed the face of British Columbia.

Change Your World is expected to be a monumental event for the Faculty and for the University as a whole, and, most importantly, for youth from all over the province who are determined to effect change in our world.

For more information, visit the Change Your World website (