Seeking climate justice on Friday, Sept. 27

Photo of a lush green forest and lake

The signals can no longer be ignored: rising seas, massive forest fires, extreme weather, forced migration and food insecurity, all on a scale never previously seen. This past Friday witnessed the largest, coordinated environmental demonstration in history when youth worldwide exchanged “books for banners” and called for real solutions to address climate change.

Greta Thunberg, the teenager who last summer held up a banner outside Sweden’s parliament and launched weekly “Fridays for Future” demonstrations, led one of the mass protests in New York on the eve of the UN Climate Action Summit. She has inspired youth around the world to do the same and peacefully protest in a multitude of “Global Climate Strike” events. Now it’s your turn.

World leaders have come together in New York to discuss concrete commitments to address climate change. The Climate Action Summit will end with another climate strike this coming Friday – when unprecedented numbers are expected to rally and Greta Thunberg will address a mass gathering in Montreal. Toronto will see its biggest march for climate justice that day, organized by Fridays for Future Toronto.

Wanting more of a direct say in the future of environmental decision-making as well as more rapid action, this will be an important moment for students who wish to add their voices to these protests. This is also an important moment for Centennial College, given our Book of Commitments’ pillar number 5, Shape the Activist College, to reaffirm our pledge and amplify the momentum by:

  • Supporting those wishing to peacefully protest this Friday, Sept. 27.
    We ask all students who want to participate in the protests to contact their faculty to address how assignments, tests and other completion deadlines can be accommodated. If you are protesting, be mindful of your safety and that of others at all times. Go with a buddy and keep an eye on each other; avoid being pressed by crowds and always look for a route to safety.
  • Encouraging all Centennial community members to submit ideas of what it means to be a truly “Green College.”
    We wish to hear from everyone who has suggestions about how we can reduce the College’s carbon footprint. On social media use #ClimateChange and tag @CentennialEDU on Twitter or @centennialcollege on Facebook. You may also submit your ideas online. We will collect all of your ideas and draw out the major themes that we can put into action, encouraging innovation and diversity of thought to take up the cause of social action.

This will be an important week for all of us at Centennial as we enable our activist principles. Thank you for your commitment to a greener college, and a greener future for all of us.

Respectfully,

Dr. Craig Stephenson
President & CEO