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Thesis Defence—Engaging Youth as Climate Actors: Place-Specific Explorations of Climate Justice in Action

June 26 at 9:30 am - 1:30 pm

A graphic that speaks to Fabiola Melchior defending their thesis.

A graphic that speaks to Noah Fancy defending their thesis.Fabiola Melchior, supervised by Dr. Onyx Sloan Morgan, will defend their thesis titled “Engaging Youth as Climate Actors: Place-Specific Explorations of Climate Justice in Action” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies – Community Engagement, Social Change, and Equity theme.

An abstract for Fabiola Melchior’s thesis is included below.

Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. This examination will be offered in hybrid format.  Registration is not required to attend in person; however, please email onyx.sloanmorgan@ubc.ca to receive the Zoom link for this defence.


This thesis explores how youth climate actors engage with the concept of Climate Justice (CJ) in a place-specific context. The research is guided by the questions: How do youth climate actors understand CJ? And how is this understanding of CJ informed by place to impact strategies for climate action? Employing youth-led participatory action research (YPAR), data collection took place through a research workshop and one-on-one interviews with youth members of the University of California Santa Cruz Climate Coalition on unceded territories of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. This thesis makes methodological, theoretical and substantive contributions to the scholarly and community-based conversations around the intersections of CJ and place. The results of this paper-based thesis are organized in two chapters that constitute stand-alone papers and address the main research objectives. Chapter 2 of this thesis shares methodological considerations as well as personal embodied experiences of the research process, seeking to make applying YPAR methodologies more accessible to fellow youth and young researchers. Chapter 3 then explores how CJ is employed in place-specific ways to understand its efficacy in localized contexts. Chapters 2 and 3 both cover aspects of practically engaging youth climate activists in exploring tools to investigate local CJ issues and communicate resulting demands to decision-makers to drive change in their communities. With this thesis, I bring youth-led methodologies, CJ-oriented action and place-based explorations into conversation with each other to encourage further reflection on strengths, challenges and responsibilities found at the intersections of doing place-specific CJ action as youth.


June 26
9:30 am - 1:30 pm


1147 Research Road
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7 Canada
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Additional Info

Room Number
ART 368
Registration/RSVP Required
Yes (see event description)
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Arts and Humanities, Environment and Sustainability, Policy and Social Change, Research and Innovation
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates