Clockwise from top left: Peyton Veitch, Ella Parsons, Dr Christopher Adams, Sara King and Donovan Martin discuss how the youth can effectively engage their local MPs and get them to act on issues such as global vaccine equity. Photo: CJI.

CJI organized an online Advocacy Symposium last October 23-24, 2021, to give secondary students from across the country a platform to listen to the voices of their peers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Canada, with testimonies from activists from around the globe. The symposium offered workshops on a range of topics such as COVID-19 justice, resource extraction and human rights, forcible displacement of people and ecological justice.

Highlights of the event included an opening plenary on how the pandemic has exacerbated inequality between the Global North and South and how it has disproportionately impacted marginalized communities. On resource extraction and human rights, Danilo Bonifilio Pérez, a young Indigenous man from Guatemala, spoke of how mining operations has negatively impacted his community. Niigaan Sinclair, an Anishinaabe academic and writer, talked about how the extractive industry has been dividing Indigenous communities in the Global South and within Canada.

The plight of forcibly displaced people was also discussed within the context of the pandemic by Fr Melo and Karla Rivas (Honduras), Noluthando Honono (South Africa) and Rachael Angok (South Sudan). John McCarthy SJ and Tshaukuesh Elizabeth Penashue, an Innu Elder, talked about their dream for the boreal forest which is home to many Indigenous communities across Canada.

To view the recordings of the various workshops and sessions, please visit: