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Some 500 high school students to learn how to change their world at York University

Some 500 high school students to learn how to change their world at York University

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Some 500 high school students to learn how to change their world at York University

TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2024 – Some 500 Ontario high school students from more than 25 high schools are coming to York University next week to learn how they can change the world through understanding the risks of fast fashion, the importance of wetlands, the dangers of storm water runoff and much more.

Toronto-based singer-songwriter and musician Brighid Fry will perform at the Change Your World conference

The annual Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change student conference, Change Your World, is partnering with environmental and youth organizations to offer students hands-on workshops to inspire and learn how they can make a sustainable and equitable difference. Included in the day’s line up is a workshop on how to build resiliency in the face of anxiety about the future.

Media are invited to the event and its workshops on Thursday, Feb. 22.

The workshops will run in both the morning and afternoon sessions and include:

  • The Cost of Fast Fashion by York’s Environmental Arts and Justice
  • Shaping Sustainable Cities for a Resilient Future
  • Exploring the World of Wetlands by Ontario Nature
  • The Game of Nations: Power, Peace, and the Planet, a giant immersive board game, by ALPHA Education
  • Climate Change and Renewables by Relay Education, students are hands on with wind turbine models and solar panels in second half of workshop
  • Rain to Runoff: A Stormwater Story by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
  • Ready, Set, Build: Green Infrastructure and Climate Futurism by Toronto Youth Environmental Council
  • Nature in the City: Understanding Toronto's Urban Forest by City of Toronto – Urban Forestry which includes a tree identification walk (weather permitting)

For a full list of workshops, visit the Change Your World website.

There will also be a special guest performance by award-winning musician and climate activist Brighid Fry, who has released five EPs on her own and with bands Kingdom of Birds and Housewife (formerly Moscow Apartment).

Keynote speakers for the event:

  • Mike Layton, York University’s chief sustainability officer in the Office of Sustainability, a former Toronto city councillor, York alumus and long-time champion of sustainability.
  • Alicia Richins, a sustainable impact strategist director of strategy and governance for Leading Change Canada, an organization focused on activating youth sustainability leadership for the transition to a low carbon economy within a generation.
  • Joanne Huy, a community engagement professional with a passion for transforming lives and communities through transformative learning experiences and meaningful engagement.

WHAT: Change Your World conference

WHEN: Opening Ceremonies from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.; morning workshops from 11 a.m. to noon; performance by Brighid Fry from 12:30 to 1 p.m.; afternoon workshops from 1 to 2 p.m.

WHERE: Vari Hall and various classrooms, Keele Campus, York University

About York University

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change, and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future.

Media Contact: Sandra McLean, York University Media Relations, 416-272-6317,