Connecting Filipino-Canadians to communities on the frontline of climate change

Written by Shaina Agbayani. Click here to donate to support connecting Filipino-Canadian youth in attending PowerShift Pilipinas.

I'm Shaina, one of the youth selected to represent Filipino-Canadians at Powershift Pilipinas. Tacloban_Typhoon_Haiyan_2013-11-14.jpg

I am passionate about uncovering and challenging the realities of climate change as they intersect with the personal narratives of the Filipinos whose lives are being so imminently impacted by climate change. 

As a woman of color in various predominantly-white sustainability spaces, I've developed a heightened awareness of the value of spaces that connect discussions about sustainability and climate change with discussions about race and colonialism. The opportunity to engage with Filipino-centered discussion about climate change would be invaluable for me to make my climate justice work stronger by increasing my understanding of these connections. 

Climate justice work in Canada, the Philippines, and elsewhere globally is necessitated by interlinking processes of neo-colonialism, land- dispossession, and natural resource privatization and commoditization. I'm passionate about addressing climate change and its roots not only because it's unforgiveable to not do everything in our power to prevent another Typhoon Haiyan, but also because I'm passionate about challenging the conditions that dispossess Filipinos in a variety of harmful ways. 

Moreover, I believe this experience will strengthen my understanding of how to stand in solidarity with Indigenous climate justice stuggles in Canada. As a Filipino-Canadian on unceded Indigenous territory, it is my responsibility to learn and challenge the conditions that make climate change a process that dispossess and violates the autonomy of Indigenous communities in a way that parallels the way that climate change disproportionately impacts countries in the global south such as the Philippines.

While these processes I've mentioned fundamentally impact everyone in ways beyond climate change, climate change is one enormous effect of these processes that has such stark, imminent, physical, devastating, catastrophic impacts, as Typhoon Haiyan exemplifies, that it is unforgivable not to name and tackle climate change as a culmination of these processes. I'm excited about this opportunity to name and tackle these processes. But I can't do it by myself. I need the support of others who share my vision.  I hope that you will support me in my journey through supporting this campaign

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