Climate Justice Study Collective

The Climate Justice Study Collective (CJSC) supports climate justice practitioners and knowledge holders from the greater Vancouver area to engage in collective study with UBC and SFU faculty on what climate justice means in our region, to identify and build connections among disparate climate- and justice-related issues locally, and to forge new research partnerships.

Why a study collective? Study groups, conscious-raising collectives, and self-education initiatives have long been central to progressive movements, as spaces for building collective analyses and forging solidarities. Such spaces are urgently needed in the climate movement, which necessarily encompasses far-flung issues and constituencies. The Climate Justice Study Collective is motivated by the guiding questions: how do we build solidarities among diverse movements or initiatives engaged broadly in struggles for climate justice, in order to increase our collective power to make positive change? How do we cultivate shared desires and visions of a future world worth fighting for?

Toward these ends, CJSC members participate in community-building activities, including helping to lead study group sessions exploring key issues in climate justice politics and holding a public conversation with the UBC and SFU communities on topics informed by this group work, as well as advising on the research agenda of the Centre for Climate Justice. To learn more about these and other upcoming events, subscribe to our newsletter.


January – June 2023 Cohort:

Our current cohort, in partnership with SFU’s Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERi) and SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement (VOCE), includes Indigenous elders, IBPOC youth activists and artists, a local elected leader, a lawyer, and local union and community organizers. CJSC members engage in monthly study and discussion sessions with UBC and SFU faculty, guided by the overarching questions: what is climate justice? And, what is required to advance climate justice in the communities and environments in and around so-called Vancouver, BC? This year, the program is based in Vancouver, on the unceded ancestral territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

Learn more about our cohort’s community members:


This year’s cohort has been coordinated by: Rafi Arefin, Jess Dempsey, Gastón Gordillo, Tara Mahoney, Taco Niet, Sara Nelson, Lorien Nesbitt, and Annika Ord


About the partners:

The UBC Centre for Climate Justice (CCJ) is a new cross-campus research centre situated on UBC’s Vancouver campus, on the traditional and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Inaugurated in November 2021, the CCJ supports collaborative, interdisciplinary, and community-engaged research that advances just and effective climate action. As a Centre for Climate Justice, the CCJ aims to utilize UBC’s resources and capacities in service of those already working towards an environmentally just future. This involves bringing together activists, policy makers, elders, scholars, and community partners to identify and amplify demands, facilitate community action, and transform policy.

SFU’s Community-Engaged Research Initiative (CERi) promotes principles of participation, cooperation, social transformation, and knowledge translation to lift and strengthen the capacity of SFU’s researchers and students, to engage respectfully and ethically with community organizations, Indigenous Nations, community members, and leadership, including cultural leaders. CERi engages students, researchers, and communities to build productive and ethical research partnerships, including by centering and supporting the knowledge and expertise that already exists in community organizations, Indigenous Nations, and leadership.

SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement (SFU VOCE) supports creative engagement, knowledge democracy and access to arts and culture since December 2010. We recognize the arts as a catalyst in social change and transformative community engagement. Our programs are designed in collaboration with and for our community, creating dynamic content in the areas of Arts, Culture, and Community; Social and Environmental Justice; and Urban Issues.

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