Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Nearly 300 students talk climate justice at StFX Women’s and Gender Studies Educational Forum

September 27th, 2019
Development studies faculty member Sutapa Chattopadhyay speaks during a panel at the Women's and Gender Studies Educational Forum, Seeking Justice & Equity Amidst The Climate Crisis. Also pictured are panelists Wyanne Sandler, Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre executive director, and sociology professor Dr. Riley Chisholm

Climate justice was the topic of conversation as nearly 300 StFX students—taking courses in development studies, women’s and gender studies and sociology—gathered together Sept. 27 to take part in the Women's and Gender Studies Educational Forum, Seeking Justice & Equity Amidst The Climate Crisis, held at the Keating Centre. 

This educational forum, co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, Development Studies Program, and the Department of Sociology, and co-organized by faculty members Sutapa Chattopadhyay (development studies), Dr. Riley Chisholm (sociology) and Dr. Nancy Forestell (history and women’s and gender studies), explored the connection between gender and climate justice. 

Each of the participating students had to read an article to prepare for the event, while an introductory short panel, led by Prof. Chattopadhyay, Dr. Chisholm, and Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre executive director Wyanne Sandler, kicked off more extensive conversation throughout the afternoon. After round table discussion, the students were asked to report back with ideas and action items from their conversations.  

“The broad focus we had was to connect environmental destruction/harm/crimes/violence with feminism as a political struggle, a movement and its basic tenants, to show how social inequalities and injustices are interlayered and enmeshed with climate destruction, but also ask broader questions as how climate change is an intersectional matter and how is it tied with history, politics and power,” the presenters said.

They said students were asked to construct and develop their own perspectives through discussions forwarded by the speakers and through their own everyday challenges linking climate crisis/change with feminism.

Students were also asked to discuss, debate and propose changes to halt or slow down global climate construction, and to think about the roles they’ve played or can play. 

The forum, they say, is designed to offer students a broad understanding of or a way forward to the future while showing the entanglements across race, ethnicity, class, and gender with climate destruction.

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