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Judy Fainstein, Lead Mentor for British Columbia

Saturday Spotlight Series

· Climate Reality Canada Team
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Judy has dedicated many years to youth engagement and climate leadership. In 2008, she founded a non-profit organization YesBC (Youth for Environmental Stewardship) to empower youth as environmental leaders. In 2008, Judy was trained by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore to be a Climate Reality Leader and since then she has given over 100 presentations, mostly to young audiences. Since 2009, Judy has been Climate Reality's Lead Mentor in BC, providing mentoring and organizing regional events for hundreds of Climate Reality Leaders.

Why did you join the climate movement/what pushed you to become interested in climate change issues?

About 20 years ago, I met I.P.C.C. climate scientist Dr. Andrew Weaver. I knew I needed to learn as much as I could about climate change and I soon realized that youth engagement was critical. That has driven me ever since. Young people will change everything and I feel an obligation to do what I can to support them.

What is one achievement you are proud of?

Creating a non-profit organization ( ) in 2008 to empower youth as environmental leaders. This enabled me to engage over 10,000 young people through youth-driven events, trainings and presentations.

What was your most iconic/memorable Act of Leadership?

Organizing the first 24 Hours of Reality event at the University of Victoria in 2011.

What are some climate change initiatives you are currently taking part in?

Mentoring youth leaders and young climate organizers; participating in strategic planning with Climate Reality Canada; organizing regional events in BC, eg a recent public webinar with leading climate activists Tzeporah Berman, Seth Kline, Kai Nagata and Harrison Johnston.

What do you think is the most effective way for people to take climate action?

First, by getting ourselves informed and sharing our knowledge, also by engaging with elected leaders to drive the climate message as the critical issue of our time and, of course, voting for those seeking elected office who share these values.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I was lead singer in a rock band for 6 years