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Rooted and Rising Lab

Rooted and Rising Lab


Last Updated on July 7, 2024

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Starting in 2019 alongside a growing climate justice movement, the Rooted and Rising Lab is dedicated to creating a beloved community of climate leaders and educators who have the skills, networks, and imagination to deliberately create healthier, thriving, more just and loving futures for all.

In Fall 2023, a new cohort will begin. Rooted and Rising is open to all young people aged 13-30.

Rooted and Rising runs a Youth Climate Leadership Certificate co-certified by Dahdaleh Institute and the Faculty of Education at York alongside its community partners.

Project Leads:

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 age 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.

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.

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, Dahdaleh Institute Faculty Fellow Lead

Kate is a 6th generation Irish settler on Turtle Island, a grandmother, mother, educator, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Youth, Education & Global Good in the Faculty of Education at York University. Kate is Director of the Young Lives Research Laboratory (YLRL) which she created in 2009 to make a unique intergenerational space within and beyond the university to understand, research, support and work with/by/for young people as they navigate local/global challenges to their wellbeing (such as ecological degradation, digital technology, and social injustice).


David Suzuki Foundation, GenerationChosen, Faculty of Education, York University, FridaysforFuture-Toronto, Young Lives Research Lab, Conscious Minds Co-operative.

The Rooted and Rising Lab is grateful for for the additional funding provided by the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship.


Planetary Health



Related Work





Kate Tilleczek, Faculty Fellow, Faculty of Education Active
Roxanne Cohen, Community Fellow, Rooted and Rising Active
Kristen Sison, Co-Community Fellow, Rooted and Rising Active
Roxanne Cohen, Graduate Research Assistant, Partnership for Youth and Planetary Wellbeing Alum

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