Sierra Youth Coalition / Coalition Jeunesse Sierra

Sierra Youth Coalition / Coalition Jeunesse Sierra

Sierra Youth Coalition (SYC) / Coalition Jeunesse Sierra (CJS)

The Sierra Youth Coalition is an organization run by youth for youth, serving as the youth arm of the Sierra Club of Canada since 1996. Our mission is to empower Canadians ages 14-26 to become active community leaders who contribute to making Canada a sustainable society. To this end, we educate young people about ecological and social sustainability; challenge unjust and environmentally destructive systems by using a solutions based approach; and speak on behalf of the new generation of Canadians who want to inherit a world worth inheriting: one where social justice and ecology are at the center of society’s priorities.

Over ten years we have grown into a nation-wide network with hundreds of registered members and thousands of dedicated volunteers, who operate in over 70 colleges and universities and in 10 high schools. The Sierra Youth Coalition is present and active in every major urban center and in many rural regions as well. Our projects affect the health and well-being of over 500 000 people across Canada.

We run the national Sustainable Campuses project, which concretely reduces the ecological footprints of our learning establishments while training a new generation of environmentally conscious leaders. We hold a national campus sustainability conference annually and many regional conferences where skills and success stories are shared. We engage high school students through the Community Youth Action Project and the new Sustainable High Schools Project, through which we are developing a culture of volunteerism and social activism in a younger target audience. We also organize national and international awareness campaigns on pressing environmental issues raised by our membership (e.g. To The Tar Sands (Alberta) and the Deconstructing Dinner Caravan (Canada, USA, Mexico) bicycle campaigns). And finally, we provide a venue for youth participation at major conferences and summits at the local, national, and international level (Province Houses, Canadian Parliament, World Trade Organization, UN, G8, etc.).

Sierra Youth Coalition operates within an anti-oppressive framework. We do not accept any forms of oppression, including but not limited to discrimination against race, ancestry, place of origin, ethnicity, language, class, citizenship, creed, system of belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, record of offenses, marital status, family status, physical and/or mental disability.

See website [http://www.syc-cjs.org]

Programs

The Sustainable Campuses Project [http://www.syc-cjs.org/sustainable] operates on over 45 Canadian post-secondary campuses. This project uses a 170 Indicator holistic assessment of sustainability, called the Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework. This tool was developed by Lindsay Cole as a Master's Thesis at Royal Roads University. The project also conducts greenhouse gas emissions inventories and supports student-led initiatives.

The Community Youth Action Project (CYAP) [http://www.syc-cjs.org/cyap] engages youth aged 14-19 through activist training summer camps and other activities.

SYC/CJS is also constantly involved in a number of campaigns addressing pertinent issues. Past campaigns have included Keep Kyoto, Save Hockey: Fight Climate Change, It's My Future (a campaign to encourage the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan to divest from coal-burning powerplants), the Deconstructing Dinner Caravan, and the Climate Change Caravan.

Recognition

In 2005, Sierra Youth Coalition received an award for the best environmental educator at the regional level from the North American Institute for Environmental Education.

In 2007, the Ontario Trillium Foundation honored SYC with its Great Grants Award for the environment sector, in celebration of the foundation's 25 years of philanthropy.

Structure

Staff include:
* National Director: Youri Cormier (2007-present)
* Administrative Coordinator: Greg Ross
* Sustainable High Schools Coordinator (Ontario): André Farant
* Sustainable High Schools Coordinator (British Columbia): Emily Menzies

Sustainable Campuses:
* National Coordinator: Anjali Helferty
* Prairies Coordinator: Jeh Custer
* Québec Coordinator: Maryève Charland-Lallier & Zahra Moloo
* Ontario Coordinator: 'Monique Woolnough
* Atlantic Coordinator: Caitlin Champion

See also

* Environmental movement


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