Learning for a Sustainable Future youth program garners top Clean50 award

Photo by Singkham from Pexels

The Virtual Climate Change Youth Forums offered by Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF), a Canadian charity located at York University, empower learners in a warming world and encourage youth to take action on the climate.

Students show off their poster created in a LSF Youth Forum sponsored by RBC
LSF Youth Forum participants show off a poster they created

LSF’s Virtual Climate Change Youth Forums program has been named a recipient of Canada’s Clean50 Top Project award. The annual award recognizes the contributions of projects towards a cleaner, healthier, innovation-based, low-carbon economy supporting all Canadians. Clean50 Top Projects were selected from more than 100 nominees, based on their innovation, their ability to inspire other Canadians to take action and, most importantly, their climate-action impact. 

LSF’s Youth Forums have historically been held as full-day, in-person experiences, but due to the impact of the pandemic, LSF decided to move the Youth Forums online.

“We knew that skipping a year wasn’t an option,” says LSF President and CEO Pamela Schwartzberg, “since students needed access to the skills and knowledge provided in the forums. So, LSF created a multi-component virtual event series offered over a six-week period.

“While creating a new delivery model, LSF also had to accommodate various school board privacy policies, teachers who were new to technology and virtual learning, events covering multiple time zones and a myriad of school schedules, and student learning at home, at school or a combination of both,” says Schwartzberg. “Our new Virtual Youth Forums still build a sense of community and connection among teachers and students from different schools. Most importantly, the forums engaged students in climate change issues, equipped them with skills and knowledge, and empowered them to take action.”

The virtual events dramatically increased LSF’s audience and geographic reach, with 17,600 students from all of Canada’s provinces and territories receiving an opportunity to contribute to the fight against climate change by participating in an Action Project.

LSF is a Canadian charity founded in 1991. Working with businesses, governments, school boards, universities, communities, educators and youth across Canada, LSF’s programs and partnerships are helping students learn to address the increasingly difficult economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. LSF has been located at York University since 1997.

Read about LSF’s Virtual Youth Forums by visiting the Clean50 Top Projects website. Registration is open for upcoming Youth Forums. To learn more, visit the Youth Forums web page.

Join The Centre for its annual Consent Week at York U

Featured image for the Centre's week of Consent events

York University students, staff and faculty are once again invited to join the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education (The Centre) for an online Consent Week at York U, Oct. 4 to 8.

During Consent Week at York U, The Centre will be hosting a series of panels, sessions and events online through Zoom in an effort to raise awareness, facilitate discussions and offer resources about consent as York community members settle into a new academic year. By bringing in experts to provide insight, knowledge and resources focused on consent, The Centre hopes Consent Week at York U will raise awareness about the supports and services offered by their office, staff, peers and external partners.

“We invite all of our community members to join us as we navigate consent within a variety of disciplines,” said Joanie Cameron Pritchett, director of community support and services. “We’re here for survivors on our campus, but also those who support survivors, engage in this type of work or want more information.”

Community members who are interested in attending should register early. Here’s a snapshot of the events taking place throughout the week.

Monday, Oct. 4

Consent 101
This session will go over the basics of consent, where community members are encouraged to engage in lively group discussions, watch videos, practise with scenarios, and gain practical knowledge and skills for communicating consent and boundaries.

Wen-Do Virtual Workshop
Wen-Do Women’s Self-Defence offers a training space for non-binary individuals and women, of all abilities, aged 10 and up.

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Power in Pleasure
In this trauma-informed consent workshop, attendees will discuss sex and consent at the intersection of race, status, labour and criminalization, and why a fear-based “no means no” approach fails to recognize the greater agency and power we are capable of wielding.

Wednesday, Oct. 6

Human Trafficking in Canada: Hiding in Plain Sight
Learn how traffickers prey on vulnerabilities and what you can do to mitigate risk and prevalence.

Thursday, Oct. 7

Informational Consent for Black and Racialized Bodies in Virtual and IRL Spheres
Attendees will explore the delightful range of informational consent for Black and racialized queer, trans and shapeshifting bodies in virtual and real-life spheres.

Trauma Recovery Yoga
This class aims to give participants tools to understand how trauma affects the body and to let go of trauma stored in the body through movement. The practices will consist of gentle movements, simple postures and breath awareness. Everything in the class is optional and beginner-friendly.

Friday, Oct. 8

The Guise Guide: Pods as Praxis
Learn about “My Public Living Room” (MPLR) from Good Guise – a creative collective of racialized men (Black, brown, latinx, cis, trans, queer) – which seeks to explore “pods”: intentional small groups of friends that meet regularly for specific purposes such as mutual aid, emotional support, intimacy, learning, vulnerability and more.

To learn more about Consent Week at York University, visit: thecentre.yorku.ca/consent-week.

To learn more about the services offered by The Centre, visit thecentre.yorku.ca.