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IC Welcomes Climate Fellow 

From a robust field of 14 candidates, Inspiring Communities (IC) has chosen Lillian Barraclough, a recent graduate of the Master of Environmental Studies program at Dalhousie University, to serve a six month term as IC’s first Climate Fellow. During her Master’s program, Lily studied how politically active youth in Mi’kma’ki experience climate grief.  

Lily has been an environmentalist, with roots in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community since she was a child. Growing up with queer moms, and later identifying as a member of the Queer community herself, her environmental and climate work has always been intertwined with her lived experiences. Lily is passionate about supporting communities in Atlantic Canada to mitigate and adapt to climate change and has done so through research on the mental health impacts of climate change, increasing accessibility to active transportation infrastructure, and supporting municipalities to create and implement climate plans and solutions. Her research as the climate fellow explores how Queer liberation and rights can be integrated into visions of climate justice in organizing, community resilience building, and public policy. 

Lillian’s project plan captures the concepts of social capital, community resilience and equity, and the way these concepts must underlie necessary actions to combat climate change. 

“I believe that there are no solutions to climate change that do not also bring social justice for all. 

As a queer and non-binary person, I’ve noticed that many, if not most, of my peers in the climate movement are members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, but that there is often a major divide between queerness within environmental and climate spaces, and queerness outside of those spaces. Acting on climate change often seems like something that is removed from personal life experience, but I’ve found that there is nothing more personal and social than the impacts of climate change. 

Many of us struggle with feelings of hopelessness, grief, anxiety, and depression relating to current and future impacts of the climate crisis and I was really drawn to submitting an expression of interest for this fellowship because I see the values in social capital and community resilience for not only building a sustainable and safer future, but also for ensuring that people feel like they are not alone in acting on climate change and weathering the impacts. People need to feel like they are a part of the solutions that are being brought forth by public policy to act on climate change, and that they benefit from it where they need it: in their daily lives.” 

Lily begins her work right away, adding to the work currently being conducted by IC fellows KJ and Vanessa. 

Inspiring Communities initiated the IC Fellowship Program in August 2022 to support investigation and knowledge production into areas of social innovation that are relevant to our communities and that can inform our equity-centered work. This Climate Fellowship is supported by funding from the Halifax Climate Investment, Innovation and Impact Fund (HCi3).

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