June 22: Queer Climate Justice Perspectives

Policy, Community Organizing, and Lived Experiences

Explore the intersections of queer identity and climate justice with IC Climate Fellow Lily Barraclough and a stellar line up of panelists.


As IC Climate Fellow Lily Barraclough expressed in her blog “Queering Climate Justice in Mi’kma’ki”, the intersections between queer rights and liberation, and climate justice can be difficult to ascertain. Due to the enormity of issues facing both the planet and queer communities in Atlantic Canada, organizations and activists working in both areas are over capacity and surpassing the organizing silos can be challenging. However, as the effects of climate change worsen, social ties and equitable relationships need to be built stronger than ever to protect communities in the face of these existential threats.

As Lily writes: “Although the risks of the climate crisis to Queer Atlantic Canadians exist and are high, climate policy fails to make those connections. Advances in responding to the climate crisis must include expanding access to adequate healthcare, housing, and supports for queer residents, especially those seeking refuge from domestic and sexual violence as well as those who are climate refugees from countries where they may have also experienced life-threatening homophobia and transphobia.”

Additionally, many climate justice organizers are members themselves of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and recognizing the intersections of their lived experiences of queerness and connections to the more-than-human world is key to fostering resilient and just communities. The roots of these issues of injustice and crisis are inherently tied to the colonial, capitalist, heteropatriarchal, white supremist, and ableist systems that which we are a part, and the solutions should not be isolated or siloed.

Join Lily Barraclough on May 29th from 3-4:30 pm to explore these questions in depth. She will be joined by Ali Mackellar, Cara MacKenzie, and Calendula Sack: queer organizers, professionals, researchers, and community services providers, who all work in the realm of environment and climate change, as well as 2SLGBTQIA+ advocacy.

We are grateful to HCi3 for their support of this fellowship, and for making this panel possible.


Ali Mackellar (they/them) is a white genderfluid/trans settler living as a guest between the territories of the Skwxwú7mesh and Mi’kmaq peoples. They are participating in research based out of Kjipuktuk that is trying to understand the ongoing impacts of resource development and extractivism on 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples in so-called Canada.

Calendula Sack (she/her) is an L’nu & Nehiyaw, Two-Spirit trans woman from Sipekne’katik, Indian Brook Reservation. She is currently living and thriving in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) on the unceded/unsurrendered lands of Mi’kma’ki. Calendula works as the BIPOC Support Services Educator at the Halifax branch Youth Project & she is the recipient of the Candy Palmater Award in 2022.

Cara MacKenzie (they/them) is a queer and trans environmental professional from Epekwitk (PEI). Their interest in queering climate justice stems from their professional, academic, and personal experiences navigating both queer and climate justice work as mutually exclusive streams. They currently work as an environmental program developer, grant writer and policy researcher.

Sky/ mosaic photo by Scott Webb from Pexels.com