Conversations on Race and Climate Change

January – April 2019


The UBC Faculty of Forestry’s first Student Directed Seminar

Racialized people and racialized land are disproportionately impacted by climate change, so why is climate organizing so white? The climate movement fights for a livable 2100 climate, but with the state of the climate movement today, who will the world of 2100 be livable for? Conversations focuses on the shared root causes of climate change and racialization. Together, students will develop an analysis of land-based justice for transformative social action, research, and organizing.




Conversations is organized into three modules, each taking place over 3-4 weekly meetings. Modules are accompanied by readings and live documents that illustrate concepts for future reference.


Establishing a shared theoretical framework for understanding race and climate change

Assessing ways to shift existing structures toward a just and livable future

Conceptualizing just and livable climate futures, with 2100 as a benchmark year



Case studies

For the final project of Conversations, participants analyzed the climate pasts, presents, and futures of a contemporary racialized climate issue, using tools from the three modules of the course.


Fenix mine in El Estor, Guatemala, Maya Q’eqchi’ territories by A. Doebeli

Present realities and potential futures of climate change and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe by F. Durnin-Vernette

It takes a village: climate refugees of the Quinault Indian Nation by T.A. Eatherton

Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation) and chemical dumping from the Reed Paper mill by C. Gauthier

Ecological collapse of Toronto’s ravine ecosystems and alternatives to racist climate narratives by H. Kang

The murder of Berta Cáceres and the Agua Zarca Dam by A. Laurent

St’alaa Kun by B. Lickerman

Envisioning an equitable future for Miami’s sea level rise crisis by P. Madrigal

The colour of water: white supremacy versus the right to water in Flint, Michigan by N. Mburu

Climate change and the materiality of the climate migrant by D. McCormack

Plastics waste management in the Manila Bay watershed, Philippines by H. Stoltzfus

To see all case studies,
please click the image above



Course information

Conversations ran from January to April 2019 at the UBC Faculty of Forestry. Categorized as a Student Directed Seminar, the course was developed and coordinated by an undergraduate student at the Faculty of Forestry. Participants included students from the Faculty of Forestry; the Faculty of Land and Food Systems; the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice; the Department of Geography; First Nations and Indigenous Studies; and more.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Janette Bulkan

Student Coordinator: HyunGu Kang



3 credits
Valid for three undergraduate course credits

Student Directed Seminar
Developed as part of the UBC SDS program (click here to learn more)

3 hours
Three-hour weekly meetings running every Monday from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm




For more information on Conversations, please contact HyunGu Kang (Student Coordinator) or Dr. Janette Bulkan (Faculty Sponsor) using the buttons below.


Contact Faculty Sponsor

Contact Student Coordinator