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Justice and Empowerment Advocacy

“Organizing Sustainability: Empowerment and Justice in Environmental Advocacy” is an 8 week course introducing the basics of community organizing for sustainability and environmental justice in the Fall and Winter semesters. It is open to students, community members, and others interested in environmental advocacy.


Participants will follow an experiential curriculum focused both on learning the analytical and organizational skills required for environmental advocacy, as well as fostering safety and long term relationships among participants.

This program is free, and upon completion, with an 85% participation rate, students will get a Sustainable Concordia Certificate in Environmental Advocacy. Additionally, Concordia Students may have it added to their transcripts on their Co-Curricular Record.

Fall session applications are now open!

Apply before Sep 19th to be part of the Fall 2018 session!

Workshops will be taking place every Wednesday from Sep 26th to Nov 14th (8 weeks total).

In this module, students will get to know each other, and be introduced to the concept of Sustainability within a community organizing framework through a variety of games and activities. This module will set the stage for the rest of the program and empower students to take responsibility for themselves and each other throughout the duration of the program.

This module will use activities to give students an understanding of the ways in which the impacts of environmental degradation are disproportionate across social divisions such as race, gender, class,  geography, education, economic status, etc. We will discuss the consequences of reduced access to decision making power with regards to ecological health, and the notion of individual and community empowerment to achieve just social relations.

This module provides participants with an analytical framework to understand and articulate the scope of environmental issues, from individual “leaves” to ideological “roots”. We will discuss how these are connected to power imbalances related to social hierarchies.

What are just solutions to environmental issues? Through case studies of existing organizations and ongoing campaigns, we will review key concepts while discussing the qualities of effective campaigns advocating just solutions to environmental issues.

This module will introduce participants to the tools and concepts for doing an environmental advocacy campaign. Activities will emphasize the importance of bottom up movement building through the notion of political activation.

This module builds on the campaign planning process, emphasizing the importance of crafting specific, goal oriented messaging arcs in the advocacy campaign process. Students will learn habits of effective messaging, and practice the ABC’s of staying on message.

Bad meetings? Through group activities, participants will learn the fundamentals of facilitation. We will discuss the qualities of good facilitation, while emphasizing decision making and group dynamics

The final component of the course will introduce the basics of recruitment, retention, and mass mobilization for environmental campaigns. Through facilitated dialogue and activities we will reflect on what motivates us and others to engage in the work we do, and look at different techniques for building momentum and membership in fulfilling campaigns and organizations. Time will be made at the end to conclude the series and reflect on what comes next!

“It showed me how to articulate what Sustainability is and how to organize a campaign with purposeful action.”
“I would tell my friends to do it! Not only do you have the opportunity to connect with a diverse and welcoming group of people, but you also learn a lot in the process and earn an environmental certification!”
“The fruitful group discussions we had each week really helped open my eyes to how sustainability extends beyond the environment to social, cultural, economic, etc. disciplines and issues as well.”

Apply before September 19th to be part of the Fall session!