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BCTF Research, April 2023

From floods to fires, the recent impact of climate disasters on communities across British Columbia (BC) has been unprecedented. Teachers have been at the forefront of assisting community members displaced by these disasters and helping each other to recover and rebuild.

As a social justice union that has signed onto the principles of a Just Recovery and the Green New Deal, what is the responsibility of the union in addressing the global issue of climate change? How can small actions lead to greater awareness and broader actions in collaboration with other social and labour organizations? How can an agenda of social demands, linked to the needs of our communities, be advanced by the union?

To explore these questions, the BCTF International Solidarity Program hosted a one day think tank: Teachers Responding to Climate Emergencies. The think tank brought together teachers in BC who have been directly affected by climate change, teacher advocates working on environmental justice, and colleagues from the Puerto Rican Teachers’ Federation (FMPR).  The think tank is a methodology used by the BCTF as a form of activist research. Following Jones (2018), activist research is a “framework for conducting collaborative research that makes explicit challenges to power through transformative action” (p. 27). As such, the day was structured to first share experiences and perspectives on the theme “teachers responding to climate emergencies,” and then develop strategies for action. The day’s conversations were interpreted in a visual mural, created by Miley Leong of Drawing Change.

Read the full report here.