By Katelyn Blascik
Tuesday evening marked the end of the Climate Justice Speaking Tour for those of us here in Ontario. This morning Christina Ora and Rahul Bose, along CAN organizer Lauryn Drainie, head to Vancouver. Where, I hope, west-coasters give them the warmest of welcomes and prepare to be moved by these inspiring speakers.
The Hart House, U of T event was the perfect send-off. Thanks, in large part, to the on-campus Indian Students Society who helped to promote, prepare and MC the event. Not to mention turning up in large numbers to support the issues, and snag some shots with Rahul Bose (Indian art-house film actor and keynote speaker).
Also in attendance were many familiar faces from earlier stops in the tour, and co-organizers from the climate change movement here in Toronto. You know who you are! Thank you. You’re always in attendance, always willing to lend support, and lend a hand. I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge your unwavering commitment. It doesn’t go unnoticed.
Well, enough about the “who’s who” and more about the event itself! There was a special presentation form Mr. Dewayne; a recitation of a traditional Indian prayer to kick off the evening. Followed by our keynote speakers, Christina Ora and Rahul Bose, both of whom continue to move audiences toward deeper thought and, hopefully, action. From their talks we learn how climate change is affecting other parts of the world, and this gives us pause. After which, many of us ask: what can I do? The answer: plenty!
Lauryn Drainie spoke next to present some solutions and some ways in which we can take action—including calling or visiting your MP, connecting with active on-campus and off-campus groups, attending the upcoming International Day of Action this Saturday October 24th, singing the KYOTOplus petition…the list goes on.
As an end to the evening, I helped to give audience members the opportunity to send a collective message to the Canadian government: “Canada: Solve Climate Change Now”! Our group shot will be part of a video collage posted and sent to our elected officials. In addition to the group photo, there was also a great response of people wanting to personalize this message; adding what has to happen, and why.
Overall, it was a very social and fun evening. I was happy to be a part of it, and it’s great to see so many people just as concerned as I am and wanting to become involved and active.