June 8, 15, 22 and 29

The True Nature of Environmental Racism with Chúk Odenigbo

Sustainability Network

Event Type:
Virtual, Workshop

Environmentalists tend to be well-meaning, forward-thinking people who believe in preserving the planet for generations to come. Environmental organizations will advocate for reusable cups, circular economy, zero-waste, conservation and the protection of animals and their rights; but are often hesitant or completely invisible when it comes to advocating for social justice and the lives of Indigenous, Black, racialized and otherwise marginalized peoples.

This learning series seeks to examine the ways the fight against systemic racism/for social justice and environmentalism are linked. Participants will explore and contextualize our understanding of racism within environmentalism and the environmental movement in Canada, and seek to look for solutions and build the tools necessary to create just futures for our human and non-human kin.

Session 1: Introduction to Anti Racism
June 8, 1-2 PM ET

During the first session, participants will be given a brief overview of the history of race and racism in a Canadian context, before then diving into shared terminology, defining terms like systemic racism. Participants will then be introduced to the tool, antiracism, and how it can be implemented successfully.

Session 2: Utopian Authoritarianism
June 15, 1-2 PM ET

During the second session, participants will be introduced to the concept of utopian authoritarianism and the importance of being able to work with and integrate multiple forms of knowledge and worldviews. Participants will be introduced to the tool, the triplicity of space, and how it can be implemented successfully.

Session 3: Holding Space
June 22, 1-2 PM ET

During the third session, participants will learn how to build equitable spaces of engagement by learning about the different kinds of spaces that they can organize and hold (the tool). Participants will also be introduced to a successful spaces policy.

Session 4: Environmental Justice
June 29, 1-2 PM ET

The final session will feature a recontextualisation of racism and systemic racism within the context of environmental spaces and the environmental movement. Participants will then be given a tool, environmental justice, through which participants can ensure that actions taken to protect the environment are just, and how it can be implemented successfully.

The Presenter:

Chúk Odenigbo

Proudly Franco-Albertan, Chúk Odenigbo is passionate about the ways in which the environment impacts human health and the role of justice in our understanding of how our societies function. Chúk helped found Future Ancestors Services Inc., an Indigenous and Black-owned, youth-led professional services social enterprise and startup that advances climate justice and equity with a lens of anti-racism and ancestral accountability. He has put together and taught courses at the University of Ottawa and ECO Canada and led important discussions on climate change and youth engagement with Global Affairs Canada, Youth Climate Lab, and other government and non-government agencies. Chúk was a semi-finalist for the Canada Innovation & Entrepreneurship Awards (CANIE) Black Entrepreneur of the Year by the Innovators & Entrepreneurs Foundation and was recently awarded the Eugène C.-Trottier award for his contribution in making his community more visible and more welcoming for all. Chúk is also Program Manager of the Community Workforce Development Program at CCEDNet.


Anywhere in Canada


Climate Change, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Racialized Communities