Exploring Climate Justice and Equity with Chúk Obenigbo
Our Lakefield Environmental Action Force (LEAF), Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and THRIVE (health and wellbeing) clubs recently met with Trent University's 43rd Ashley Fellow, Chúk Obenigbo. The meeting was centred around climate justice and equity and the interactions between culture, health, and the environment. Our students were thrilled to meet and learn from Obenigbo, who is passionate about the impact of linguistic justice on climate change and environmentalism, questions of race and equity within la Francophonie, defining and valuing black knowledge in the context of the spread of disease and public health, and environmental racism.
As a founding director and director of ancestral services for Future Ancestors Services Inc., and co-founder of The Poison and The Apple, Obenigbo shared his knowledge and experiences with the students, inspiring them to take action and make a difference in the world. This meeting was a valuable experience for our students who were able to gain a deeper understanding of how climate justice and equity are intrinsically linked to issues of culture, health, and the environment. Students explored the nuances and complexities of topics like linguistic justice, environmental racism, and the need to value and uplift the knowledge of underrepresented communities.
For many of our students, this was their first opportunity to engage with an expert in these areas. They were amazed by the depth of knowledge and passion that Obenigbo brought to the conversation. His work in advancing climate justice and equity with a lens of anti-racism and ancestral accountability is truly inspiring, and our students left feeling energized and motivated to make a difference in their own communities.
Attending talks like this is an important part of our school's commitment to providing a well-rounded education that prepares our students to be thoughtful, engaged citizens of the world.
We are grateful to Mr. Obenigbo for sharing his time and expertise with our students, and we look forward to continuing to learn from him throughout his tenure as the Ashley Fellow at Trent University.
Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.
We respectfully acknowledge that Lakefield College School is located on the Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig territory and in the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig and Chippewa Nations, collectively known as the Williams Treaties First Nations, which include: Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Alderville, Scugog Island, Rama, Beausoleil, and Georgina Island First Nations. Lakefield College School respectfully acknowledges that the Williams Treaties First Nations are the stewards and caretakers of these lands and waters in perpetuity and that they continue to maintain this responsibility to ensure their health and integrity for generations to come.