What’s the Link Between Climate Justice and Social Justice? Panel Discussion
Our panellists explore the narrative of loss and sacrifice within the climate justice movement and consider how we can shift the focus to the growth, beauty and value of a fair, regenerative society.
They address the accessibility of the movement, looking at how to embed social justice and inclusion within environmental justice. They examine our role as consumers and our position as global citizens within a wider system of oppression, contemplating the role of blame in mobilising or hindering climate action.
Many individuals globally are giving up habits of a lifetime to reduce their carbon footprint, but what more needs to happen and to change? Where do we go from here? How can we make a real difference?
Campaigner and activist Simmone Ahiaku joins North Somerset Councillor Huw James, Environmental Emergencies Action researcher Zoe Rasbash and eco brand owner Sarina Saddiq. Chaired by environmentalist and Black and Green Ambassador Olivia Sweeney. James and Saddiq appeared on RIFE magazine’s 30 Under 30 list in 2020.
This event is guest produced by Scarlett Smyth and and delivered in collaboration with Rife Magazine. It is part of the A Poetic City season of events commemorating 250 years since the death of Bristol-born poet Thomas Chatterton. A Poetic City is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund using money raised by National Lottery players.
Simmone Ahiaku is an award-winning change-maker, campaigner and activist who has contributed to environmental, social and cultural work in Bristol, London and across the UK. She interned at the City of London Corporation as part of the Air Pollution and Noise team exploring air pollution, race and class. This sparked her passion for climate justice and liberation from all unequal systems of power and oppression. Previously the Fossil Free Campaigns Coordinator at People and Planet, Simmone developed her skills and in climate justice, movement-building and solidarity. She uses facilitated workshops to explore climate colonialism and examples of climate resistance and movements from the past and present-day.
Huw James is a North Somerset Councillor and one of the UK’s youngest non-executive directors for a Housing Association, Alliance Homes. He is passionate about climate justice and tackling social inequalities and lobbying for policies that tackle the climate emergency and housing crises. He is the Vice Chair of the council’s Adult Services and Housing Policy and Scrutiny Panel, alongside acting as the Council’s Youth Champion.
Zoe Rasbash has campaigned at the local, national and international level for just responses to the climate crisis. As Environmental Emergencies Action Researcher at Watershed, she is working to co-develop a framework for climate action for the creative sector in the South West. She is also a writer on visual arts and the climate emergency, climate editor at Shado magazine and co-founder of Lilith Archive. She previously led the UK youth delegation to the UN Climate Conferences and sat as youth representative on the UN Taskforce for Climate Displacement. At Amnesty International and Climate Strategies, she worked to ensure climate research co-produced effective results with those on the ground.
After completing her degree in Biological Sciences, Sarina Saddiq has been focussing on growing her brand, SmartSquid, with the aim of sparking ecological conversations through conscious clothing. The SmartSquid Nature Magazine is a project funded by SmartSquid profits and run by Shaddiq, with the aim of inspiring children to engage with nature. It is a biannual publication that has been distributed to children in disadvantaged situations throughout the South West free of charge via partnerships with local charities.
Scarlett Smyth is an artist, poet, and creative producer, currently working as an Assistant Creative Director on a touring social action through arts project for Creative Youth Network in Bristol. She is an advocate of social change and aims to amplify and support quiet voices within the arts from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is represented by Rising Arts Agency and an alumni of BBC Arts, Channel 4 Random Acts, and the pilot scheme Creative Workforce For The Future. She is also a founding member of Bristol Culture Young Collective where she advises on inclusion and accessibility within Bristol museums.
Olivia Sweeney is an environmentalist and one of Bristol’s Black and Green Ambassadors, a project that explores the intersection of climate and racial justice by connecting and celebrating diverse community action for the environment. She has a particular interest in clean air for all and is working on a project building community solutions for clean air. As part of this, she and two other ambassadors have a monthly show on Ujima Radio. She also works for a sustainable waste consultancy trying to make it easier for people to reduce their waste, recycle and build the circular economy. She was named one of the Top 100 most Influential Women in Engineering by FT in 2019 and is an advocate for diversity and equity in all forms.
It’s important to us that ideas and debate are affordable to everyone. It’s also important that our commentators, artists, writers, poets and thinkers are paid. This is a Pay What You Can event. You are invited to choose your own contribution to the event. A free option is available. All proceeds go towards supporting our speakers and sustaining Bristol Ideas.
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