Growing Roots in environmentalism together

By: Kaitlyn Daw- The Brock Press

Regardless of race, class, gender or nationality, the Earth is what every human being has in common, which is why Brock Eco Club aims to protect its environmental fragility.

On Wednesday, March 19, Brock Eco Club will be hosting their first environmental conference, Growing Roots, at Isaac’s Bar and Grill. Growing Roots will be occurring during the middle of Brock Eco’s annual EnviroWeek—an entire week full of environmentally -related events promoting “green” mentalities. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., consisting of environmentally -friendly vendors, free workshops, and two keynote speakers. As their biggest event of the school year, Brock Eco Club’s conference is dedicated to educating and inspiring the development of greener lifestyles in the local community.

Brock Eco Club aims to encourage students to participate in activism towards environmental justice through institutional and public education, as well as community outreach. “As a student in an environmental program, I learn a lot of the issues around the world that I did not know about before,” says Jon Chessum, Volunteer Coordinator for Brock Eco Club. “This conference gives members of the public the opportunity to learn aspects of the environment through hands-on workshops, guest speakers, and vendors.”

At noon, Growing Roots will welcome Simon Jackson, founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition, from British Columbia as a keynote speaker. Steve Lee, a student at Trinity College in the University of Toronto will be presenting a keynote speech at 4:00 p.m. as well. Free workshops will be hosted by Brock University students and participating organizations throughout the afternoon.

“We have invited eco-friendly vendors that focus on different elements of sustainability including: how to properly recycle, the benefits of purchasing local food, fair trade, and easy ways to green your business and home,” said Elise Lee Lai, Vice President of External Affairs for Brock Eco.

Brock Eco Club President, Istafa Sufi, hopes to “Bring awareness to environmental issues in our community and in the world.” The environmental conference is one more way that Sufi, the Brock Eco Club, and participating organizations hope to change the world in a positive way.

“There have been many noticeable changes in our planet, and there are many more to come,” Sufi says. “This conference will show citizens of Niagara that they can be a part of the solution and that little actions can help put us in the right direction.”

At the heart of Growing Roots is an emphasis on collectivity. Growing Roots is ultimately built on the foundation of a common goal towards a greener future. “It isn’t too late [to change],” Sufi expresses optimistically. “The good news is we can work together and solve [the negative changes in our planet].”

With the support of participating environmental organizations from the Niagara Region, like-minded groups at Brock and the local community’s involvement, Growing Roots hopes to educate others about environmentalism in an effort to protect the Earth’s precious resources.
For more information about Brock Eco Club, Growing Roots, their other initiatives and to also registrar, visit

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