Richmond Earth Day Youth Summit
The REaDY Summit is a youth-led, youth oriented conference that promotes environmental awareness and action through engaging speakers and workshops. The purpose of this event is to build capacity amongst Richmond Youth and to position them as change agents in their school and community. The REaDY Summit is always held the week of Earth Day, and 2016 will signal the 5th year, fulfilling its strong legacy of a “by youth and for youth” initiative. Not only is the Summit facilitated, organized and inspired by high school students in Richmond’s Green Ambassador program, the event also provides the opportunity for them and their peers to learn innovative, practical and sustainable actions to create positive change for future generations. The theme of READY Summit 2016 will be place-based environmental action – inspiring youth to engage locally to address environmental issues impacting their neighbourhood and city.
The Green Ambassadors are supported by the project partners, the Richmond School District #38, the City of Richmond and the David Suzuki Foundation.
The event has drawn over 1600 participants of all ages in the past 4 years. It has grown into a celebrated success among the community. A steering committee of youth volunteers from Richmond’s Green Ambassador program, work during the 6 months preceding the conference to collaborate, identify and organize keynote speakers, workshop leaders, and exhibitions that complement the theme of the conference. The Green Ambassadors are supported by the project partners to plan and deliver every component of the event, and to do this the students contribute countless hours of their time before and during the event. Students do not just plan and organize behind the scenes, they also participate as workshop leaders, workshop facilitators/assistants, event emcees, and keynote speeches – which inspire and educate their fellow youth participants. The students solely deliver the website, Facebook, and Twitter communications to promote the event. While past years of the Summit have welcomed Dr. David Suzuki, Sarika Cullis-Suzuki, and Peter Robinson as feature keynotes – ReaDY 2015 was the first year with solely youth keynote speakers, and it is an approach that will be emphasized in future Summits. The conference is a crucial part of the School District and City’s youth and community engagement initiative. The goal is to bring environmental ideas and actions closer to the population. It is a time to share, inspire and learn from each other. Together, real actions are taken.