TORONTO — Future Ground Network, a growing network of more than 75 grassroots groups mobilizing to protect the environment and address the climate emergency in Canada, launches publicly on February 10. Through an interactive webinar, the network launch will include an invitation from David Suzuki for new groups to join the movement.
Also offered in French Canada as “Réseau Demain le Quebec,” Future Ground Network supports emerging and experienced grassroots community groups, offering access to tools and trainings on climate justice, biodiversity, waste reduction and sustainable systems. It also connects and unifies these groups, making coordination and large-scale mobilization possible.
Future Ground Network was born out of growing awareness that we can tackle the climate crisis in our own communities, in light of a 2018 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report highlighting that 50 to 70 per cent of climate solutions start locally.
“Local organizers have the ideas and motivation to transform their communities and build stronger movements, and we want to support that work,” David Suzuki Foundation mobilization strategist Elizabeth Sarjeant said. “Future Ground Network redistributes some of the resources the David Suzuki Foundation holds as a long-established environmental organization. We ask our member groups what that might look like for them, and we try to offer the training, knowledge-sharing and access to tools and expertise that will meet their needs.”
In spring 2020, several dozen groups in Quebec and Ontario joined Future Ground Network during the project’s pilot phase. The network plans to bring up to 50 new groups on board this spring, following the public launch, reaching about 120 groups throughout the country.
“Through Future Ground Network, I’m gaining a better understanding of what community-based organizing means in the context of climate change, so that I can relay my experiences and the training I receive back to my group,” said Ahlena Sultana-McGarry of Youth for Climate Action, a budding initiative in Lanark County, Ontario creating space for youth dialogue and investigating strategies to help local businesses reduce their carbon impact.
Dorothy Wilson of Nith Valley EcoBoosters in Ontario said, “Webinars on topics such as handling difficult conversations, decolonizing your organizing and organizing across generations have not only been informative, but have also provided opportunities for me to learn about the activities and challenges that other network members face.” Nith Valley EcoBoosters is a volunteer-led group committed to education, action and collaboration supporting a long-term healthy environment in Waterloo Region, Ontario. With the support of Future Ground Network, they’ve hosted a series of online events to connect their community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve received incredible support and connections with other environmental initiatives throughout the country,” said Tasfia Ahsan of ECHO Canada, a Vancouver-based team providing volunteers, fundraising and leadership training to support communities building more sustainable futures. “As the network grows, there’s a lot of potential for individual and collective action, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
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To learn more about the February 10 launch webinar or to register, visit: https://actionnetwork.org/events/why-we-organize-future-ground-network-launch-webinar
To learn more about Future Ground Network, visit: https://futuregroundnetwork.org/
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Brendan Glauser, firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-356-8829