Youth and Climate Justice

Published on October 17th, 2018 | by GrowWNYAdmin

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Youth at the Front Lines of Climate Justice

Buffalo Humanities Festival 2018

The WNY Environmental Alliance Youth & Climate Justice (YCJ) Initiative Fellows were invited back to participate in this years Buffalo Humanities Festival with the theme of REVOLUTIONS! We partnered with three organizations for our session titled, Youth at the Front Lines of Climate Justice, to share the work they do with the young leaders of our region around social, political, and environmental justice issues. In addition to the YCJ Fellows, youth representatives from UB Sustainability, Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Center, and the WNY Youth Climate Action Summit came to speak about their current projects and engage in meaningful conversations with the audience.

In addition, we attended the inspirational Spotlight Speaker, young adult writer, Angie Thomas. Her book, The Hate You Give, is an empowering story reflecting on the racial tensions of a community faced with a tragedy, highlighting the glaring issues of inequality in our nation and the urgency to seek justice for those who suffer because of it. Thomas spoke directly to the young adults of the audience with an insightful message to take action and speak out on the injustice they see in their own lives. A sincere thank you to the University at Buffalo Humanities Institute who organize the festival each year – we are grateful to once again be part of this unique academic tradition!  

Below are some comments from our Youth Fellows about their time at the Festival:

“My experience at the Buffalo Humanities Festival was a very engaging and fulfilling one. I met and caught up with the WNYEA youth fellows, and attended a wonderful talk by Angie Thomas. The following day I participated in a group workshop where different groups with an interest in environmental activism all took questions, and talked about the work that they all do. It was a very fun and informative event, and I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.” – Gabe Cohen

“My weekend at the Buffalo Humanities Festival was exciting and intriguing, like usual. I always enjoy learning about other projects and efforts made by youth and organizations in WNY. We got to share what we do as an organization and that was fulfilling.” – Skylar Moffett

“The Humanities festival was great this year! Angie Thomas was such an engaging speaker and I think her humor and personality set such an nice energy for the day. I had lots of great conversations and I hope we can go next year.” – Birch Kinsey

“My experience at the Buffalo Humanities Festival was amazing. I enjoyed telling people about my involvement in Western New York Environmental Alliance and my thoughts about climate change. I also felt accomplished by being around people who think similarly to environmental issues and other issues in my community and willing to see the problems and wanting to work on them.” – Ingabire Amida Adams

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