Full Name and Title
Dean Evangeliou, National Campaign Manager
Dean recently graduated from the University of Toronto's Munk School with a Master of Public Policy, specializing in environmental policy, and before that, completed a Bachelor of Arts and Science at McGill in environmental studies. Last summer, Dean worked at the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, learning all about the inner workings of provincial bureaucracy. Dean was also an intern at The Climate Reality Project Canada five years ago, which acquainted him with the organization in the first place! On top of all that, Dean loves to be outdoors, exercises, and has a deep passion for film and pop culture.
Why did you join the climate movement/what pushed you to become interested in climate change issues?
I've always loved nature, animals and the environment from a young age. My original interest stemmed from my love of animals—I even wanted to be a veterinarian growing up! However, as my interests expanded, and I continued to read and learn more about the broad and interconnected effects of ongoing climate change, I became fascinated and galvanized by the climate movement as a whole.
What is one achievement you are proud of?
Completing my Master of Public Policy this year—it was a long and difficult two years of hard work. However, I am so grateful for everything that I learned and the people I met along the way, and so grateful to have studied something I love.
What are some climate change initiatives you are currently taking part in?
Recently, I was Executive Director for the Indigenous Affairs Student Initiative, a student-led organization at the University of Toronto. I had planned and organized a weekend symposium on environmental justice in collaboration with our program’s equity and diversity initiative. Unfortunately, we had to cancel that, as it was set to happen at the peak of the COVID crisis. Otherwise, taking on my new role as National Campaign Manager has me so excited, and I am looking forward to how I can positively contribute with this new role!
What do you think is the most effective way for people to take climate action?
There is no one answer. The most important thing I have learned in my years studying the environment and policy is that there is no single prescription to cure a problem as interconnected as climate change. It's important as individuals to take individual actions however they can every day—ride a bike to work, compost, avoid meat when possible. On the other hand, there are just 100 corporations responsible for 70% of our greenhouse emissions, so lobbying against government fossil fuel interests, and voting to make sure we elect politicians who have green platforms in place are equally, if not more, vital and important. Policy is cyclical—change does not happen without the will of the people, and vice versa. Individually, we need to take more systemic action at a larger scale in order to really create change in our fossil fuel embedded institutions. There is no right answer, as the problem needs to be tackled at all angles.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I used to competitively swim up until the age of 20, so I love being in the water! On the more creative side of the spectrum, I used to write quizzes and movie/television show reviews for BuzzFeed on the side a few years ago as a contributor. I also used to write weekly blogs on RuPaul's Drag Race !