“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
My first experience of activism came at age 8, as I was playing with my friend in front of a neighbour’s house. We discovered an ant hill and Jordan (my friend) began stomping on the ants. I became extremely upset and started shouting and pushing at him. Julian, owner of the house in front of which we were playing, came out to see what was wrong. “Jordan is killing the ants, even though they didn’t do anything to them!! They are just living their lives!!” I shouted. “Come now, Jordan, why are you doing that?” Julian asked. Jordan didn’t have a ready answer; he didn’t know why he bore such animosity towards these tiny creatures; he had already begun to hate and fear nature, a syndrome I think has become widespread in our society, and underlies much of our present destruction . I realized that day, deep down inside, that I needed to be vocal about injustice if I saw it, and to dedicate my life to its defeat.
As a teenager, I was fortunate to meet a group of very progressive friends, mostly women, who introduced me to feminist theory and helped me understand the linkages between different forms of oppression, and their common causes. I volunteered with Planned Parenthood’s TEACH program – Teens Educating And Confronting Homophobia – leading workshops in Toronto high schools and group homes. It was intense work, but powerful. Surprises in attitudes and opinions came from unlikely places. Random advice from a friend led me to study sociology at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, where I gained a history and critical theory to support my lived experience. Simultaneously I was drawn into the world of university politics, working first for the student union and then the newly formed campus sustainability group.
In the 9 years since, I have explored sustainability from a variety of perspectives, through a diversity of projects and experiences. I am still learning. You can find out more by navigating this section.