Co-developer, and co-facilitator of workshop series, Micheal Finck, sits down with The Concordian
“Organizing Sustainability: Empowerment and Justice in Environmental Advocacy” is an eight-week workshop that emerged from one of Sustainable Concordia’s three institutional priority mandates: sustainability, education and engagement.
“It’s a workshop series designed to give students analytic skills and tangible skills in terms of environmental justice community organizing,” said Michael Finck, Sustainable Concordia’s external coordinator and co-developer of the workshop series.
With 24 participants in total, the workshop sessions include various components in order to bring out “general understandings of how the world functions and how environmental degradation impacts people and themselves,” said Finck.
The sessions are made up of a variety of activities ranging from individual writing and small group exercises to discussion blocks and large plenaries with the entire group.
Co-developed by Finck and Lily Schwarzbaum—whom Finck met through Climate Justice Montreal—this semester’s series will be co-facilitated by Finck and Alix Tabet, two Sustainable Concordia staff members.
“The role of the facilitators is to support the conversation but not to give all of the content; it’s really to ask the kind of questions that will bring around conversations where people will learn from each other about these issues,” said Finck.
He added that the workshop series is relatively broad, yet has a sense of direction in that it is, “focused around strategic campaigns for environmental advocacy … that could be policy change, it could be starting alternative institutions, it could be stopping environmentally-destructive development projects, and so on. The basic building block of the theory can be applied to a lot of different things.”
Even though there are only 24 participants admitted to the workshop sessions per term, there were reportedly over 80 applicants in the first edition of the workshop series this past winter semester, said Finck.
“At this point the idea is to run [the program] every semester,” said Finck, in order to give those who have not yet attended the workshops a chance to participate. “There certainly is potential for it to happen more often in the future.”
“We have made a specific effort to create a diverse group of people so that there are lots of different experiences and so that people can get that cross-faculty, cross-institution, and cross-life stage kind of experience,” added Finck.
The workshops will run from Sept. 29 to Nov. 24 on Tuesday evenings from 6-8 p.m.
Space is limited. Apply between Sept. 8-22 at the following link: http://sustainableconcordia.ca/event/organizing-sustainability
To learn more about the workshop series visit the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1045176198867956/1045241972194712/