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Rooted and Rising: Co-Developing Experiential Education for Climate Leadership for Youth and Planetary Health

Please join the Rooted and Rising Lab (R+R Lab) for a reflection on co-developing a new and unique kind of education for youth climate leadership. As we collectively spiral deeper into climate and ecological collapse, a global movement is taking place, often inspired and led by youth, to make way and spiral out into just, thriving, and joyful climate futures (now). Amidst this dual spiral of collapse and regeneration, we contemplate: what might education for climate change leaders look like? How might we co-create education as a set of knowledge, practice, and relationships to reach those desired futures now?  

The R+R Lab is an intergenerational network of relationships that co-create and support climate education programs to help us remember the importance of caring for the natural world and all its biospheres and creatures. In this presentation, we will reflect on the 2nd Rooted and Rising Youth Climate Leadership Certificate program that took place in this past fall and winter 2024. The program is certified by the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, the Faculty of Education, and various youth-serving community partners. This 13-week hybrid leadership program offers youth (aged 13-30) a space to build on their existing passions and to work and learn about climate change and ecological degradation. We will discuss our approach, showcase student projects, share lessons for theory and practice, welcome open discussion, and future collaborations. 

Speaker Profiles

Kristen Sison, Co-Community Fellow 

Kristen Sison (she/her) is a Filipina woman born in Scarborough, Toronto on Dish With One Spoon Treaty Territory. She is a community archivist + artist-healer in the community arts and climate justice realms, storytelling ways of embodying reverence. A founding member of grassroots groups Kapwa Collective, Conscious Minds Co-operative, and Rooted and Rising, she has been devoted to co-creating intergenerational spaces for decolonization and deep listening to commune with the sacred. With 15 years spent witnessing the evolution of these alternative community spaces, she walks with the knowing that we can and are re-imagining and living into thriving, joy-filled futures. Sometimes her work takes the shape of community publications: in 2016 she edited and self-published Womxn, about reclaiming our power and stepping into our sacred responsibilities to land and water, and in 2021 she edited and self-published It’s Bigger Than All Of Us, featuring the work of 50+ BIPOC creators reflecting on their path to wholeness. In the Spring of 2023, she designed Filipinx/a/o Farmers and Earthworkers in Tkaronto, a zine about Filipinx/a/o food sovereignty in Tkaronto, and what it means to be farming and earth working on Indigenous lands.

Roxanne Cohen, Community Fellow 

Roxy Cohen (she/her) is a white Jewish settler treaty person raised along Ouentironk (Lake Simcoe), now living in Tkaron:to, Dish with One Spoon Wampum Territory. Roxy is an educator and consultant (and aunty) who is dedicated to transforming the education system and uplifting cooperative community leadership for thriving and joyful futures(now). Roxy has been a climate activist since high school, and now, she creates education programs with youth and educators that re-imagine how we teach in and with climate change. At 21, she co-founded Conscious Minds Camp & Co-op – a youth-led summer camp for imagining and practicing the world we want. After many years of camp and community organizing for food sovereignty with the St. James Town Co-op, Roxy co-instigated Rooted and Rising in her PhD on Re-Storying Education in the Era of Climate Change. She is proud to now be a Community Fellow at DI, coordinating and amplifying the Rooted and Rising Lab. Roxy also trains managers and team members in Change Leadership, Mental Health, and Communication in a diversity of settings.

Bella Lyne, Global Health Intern 

Bella (they/them), they are a white settler, treaty person living in Dish with One Spoon Wampum Covenant Territory, Tkaron:to. Bella has been passionate about climate and environmental justice for as long as they can remember, founding an arts-based initiative in high school that advocated for the rights of mother earth. Currently, Bella organizes in their community around issues of affordability, disability justice and climate justice. Bella joined Rooted and Rising in 2019 to help create the kind of loving community of youth climate leaders that they have always craved. Bella is honoured to continue this work as a Global Health Intern, supporting the growth of the Rooted and Rising Lab. Bella is completing a Master’s degree in communications and culture at York University. Their thesis, Networks of care: Mutual aid and Social Media Infrastructures, focuses on the challenges and possibilities that have emerged through the practice of online mutual aid throughout the covid-19 pandemic. All of Bella's work is rooted in a commitment to building movements centered in deep solidarity, and care and to living out their treaty responsibilities.

Kate Tilleczek, Executive Faculty Fellow 

Kate’s ancestors came from Ireland in the 1840s to escape famine and live on Turtle Island (Prince Edward Island via New York).  Kate is a grandmother, educator, Professor, and Canada Research Chair in Youth, Education & Global Good in the Faculty of Education at York University. Kate is also the Director (and founder in 2009) of the Young Lives Research Laboratory (YLRL) which has been co-created with scholars, communities, youth  and youth-serving organizations to form a unique intergenerational and intercultural space for research and communication alongside young people as they navigate the complex, digital and warming world.  Kate is leading the Partnership for Youth and Planetary Wellbeing which aims to better understand how young people from various ecological and social contexts are living well and sustainably.  Together, the partners conduct research and share findings through co-development of education for youth wellbeing, attend to what and how youth most wish to learn, and share.   

Andrea Bastien

Andrea Bastien has an extensive, continuous, and evolving relationship with music and community engagement. She has worked with an abundance of organizations including Redwire NYM, UMAYC, Indigenous Media Arts Group, Raven Spirit Dance, imagineNATIVE, Toronto Aboriginal Youth Council, TDSB Aboriginal Education, Naadmaagit Ki Group, and Indigenous Climate Action. Some past roles: youth advocate, advisor, administrator, performer, program facilitator, & communications coordinator. Andrea is currently in her Master of Education (MEd) at York University in the Urban Indigenous Education Cohort. 

Register below and join us on Wednesday, June 19, at 1 p.m.


The registration for this event has closed.


Wednesday, June 19, 2024


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2024
  • Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


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