Youth have a powerful role in moving society towards a just and sustainable future. Through hopeful storytelling that centers justice, agency, and systems change, the Youth Climate Ambassadors Project (YCAP) trains university student facilitators to help emerging high school leaders realize this collective power.
Created in response to the demand for climate change narratives that focus on hope and action rather than doom and gloom, YCAP offers free climate justice workshops supported by the UBC Climate Hub in partnership with Be The Change Earth Alliance. YCAP connects trained university student facilitators with high school classes and community groups, creating opportunities for peer-to-peer storytelling centred around climate justice, systems change, and community resistance. Accessibility is a key feature of our program: we can accommodate any range of knowledge levels, and workshops can occur in classrooms, virtually, before or after school, in community centers, at the UBC Climate Hub, or anywhere else youth might gather.
Communities are most receptive to climate change narratives delivered by people they trust, and the voices of youth community members are especially salient. Young people’s voices are key to communicating the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to approach from a lens of climate justice. However, many efforts to communicate the urgency of the climate crisis focus on insurmountable eco-threats. These narratives of inevitable apocalypse burden students with paralyzing grief and anxiety that prevents them from taking action. YCAP workshops mobilize a systems thinking and global equity lens to empower youth with the hope and agency needed to tell compelling, powerful climate stories that center justice in the climate conversation. Feeling empowered on climate is the best way to overcome eco-anxiety.
Each workshop lasts roughly one hour and covers the following:
Facilitators aim to achieve the following goals by the end of the workshop:
Currently our facilitation team is based out of the Lower Mainland, and we do not offer workshops beyond these regional limits. However, YCAP is committed to providing an open-source curriculum that is accessible to teachers, youth, and grassroots organizations who believe their community could benefit from climate narratives fuelled by hope and agency. To aid community groups around the world who would like to replicate, draw from, or adapt our model, this section details the logistics, workshop materials, and facilitator guides needed to put on your own Climate Ambassadors workshop. If you decide to organize an independent YCAP workshop, we would love to hear from you!
Steps to putting on your own Youth Climate Ambassadors Workshop:
Host a workshop in your community! The Climate Hub is committed to openly sharing its resources. Click below to download the workshop toolkit, drop us a line to let us know how it went!download toolkit
We would like to acknowledge and thank Vancity Credit Union for their ongoing support and funding for this project.
We would like to acknowledge our partners, including Be The Change Earth Alliance, for helping scale this project.
Last but not least, we would like to acknowledge and thank all the project leads, facilitators, volunteers, and members of the Climate Hub team who have carried forward this vision. This project was developed by Em Mittertreiner, George Radner, and Meghan Little from the ideas and research of Grace Nosek.