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Yellowquill students inspired to make change

By Johnna Ruocco, The Graphic

Yellowquill School Social Justice Club members Tyler Morris, Juliette Tower and Logan Rands present to the Portage la Prairie School Division Board of Trustees at their Feb. 26 meeting about the MCIC conference they attended in January. (Johnna Ruocco/THE GRAPHIC/QMI AGENCY)

Yellowquill School Social Justice Club members Tyler Morris, Juliette Tower and Logan Rands present to the Portage la Prairie School Division Board of Trustees at their Feb. 26 meeting about the MCIC conference they attended in January. (Johnna Ruocco/THE GRAPHIC/QMI AGENCY)

Members of Yellowquill School's social justice committee were on hand at the Portage la Prairie School Division board of trustees meeting on Feb. 26 to talk about their experience at a climate change conference in January.

The Generating Momentum For Our World: Justice in a Changing Climate conference was put on by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation, and Yellowquill students said they learned a lot.

We learned that the bigger you make your cities, the more its hurting our world and the atmosphere, and that it's affecting all the little places in the world the most,” said Logan Rands.

Students explored the concepts of climate change and social justice. They investigated how climate change is altering the lives of people around the world, why this is a social justice issue, and what they can do to help ensure a healthy and sustainable future for people around the world.

The students were also motivated to make change.

I feel like I really wanted to make a difference in our community, not only locally but globally,” said Tyler Morris.

It's a good way to get started and get aware of the situations that are going on in our world,” added Juliette Tower.

The students also attended the conference in 2014, which was about poverty.

We know that poverty's in our community, it's in every community, so we just wanted to go try and help our community and help the world too,” Rands said.

It wasn't just the students who walked away from the conference inspired, it was the teachers too.

It's exciting to see young people get involved in social justice issues – not only wanting to know more about them but to do something about them,” said Rob Thornton, one of the teachers part of the social justice committee. “And I think that we're learning as well that young people have a strong voice and they can become involved and take action and do some great things. We've seen it in the last three years at our school, they've done some amazing activities to help with various projects around the world and locally as well.”

The students learned about planning and promoting events, public speaking and leadership, as well as different skills to help get their message out, such as video, silk screening, theatre and photography.

While the students learned about many issues and topics at the conference, the most important thing they learned is simple.

It doesn't matter how young you are you can always make a change in the world, either small things in your community or globally,” Rands said.

Inspired to keep up the work they did last year, the students said they want to put on more events and fundraisers similar to the ethical fashion show and grocery cart challenge the committee held last year.

johnna.ruocco@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @PDGJohnna


 


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