York U teaches high-school students how to ‘change their world’

Change Your World

Hundreds of high-school students will have the opportunity to learn how to “change their world” when they visit York University on Oct. 17 for the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) Change Your World conference.

Since 1968, FES has been at the forefront of cutting-edge environmental well-being and social justice research that focuses directly on our natural, built, social, political, cultural and artistic environments. However, with each passing year, new challenges arise on our planet, within our world and in our local communities, making the need to study our environment more important than ever.

The goal of the Change Your World conference is to inspire youth in Ontario to be the next generation of environmentally active citizens. High-school students and their teachers participate in this dynamic day-long conference that brings together youth and community organizations from across Ontario to discuss, collaborate, and learn how to make sustainable and equitable change in our world.

This year’s keynote speakers include:

  • Dianne Saxe, former environmental commissioner of Ontario and a 2019-20 York University McMurtry Fellow (FES/Osgoode);
  • Larissa Crawford, a York University alumna and 2019-20 Action Canada Fellow; and
  • Sam Demma, a youth speaker, named one of Contiki’s 35 under 35 Changemakers for 2019.

Approximately 875 students from 45 high schools will take part in a variety of workshops to learn more about the following topics: the basic science behind climate change, sex trafficking, how to become a citizen scientist, plastic pollution, the cost of fashion and more. All students will participate in the featured workshop, “The 3% Project at Change Your World,” which aims to mobilize 1,000,000 Canadian youth (3 per cent of Canada) to identify, analyze and develop solutions to their community’s biggest sustainability challenge.

The event runs from 9:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Vari Hall on York University’s Keele Campus.