09 / 02 / 23
A youth-run summit in London this month brought young people from different faith backgrounds together to tackle the issue of climate change.
The Youth Interfaith Summit, on 6 February 2023 at The London School of Economics (LSE) brought some 200 people together from many different faith and belief groups, uniting people across differences to create a movement for positive change. The summit, which coincided with UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, was organised by the Faith & Belief Forum’s Youth Council.
The Youth Interfaith Summit moved the discussion around tackling climate change away from an individualist perspective and towards a focus on community and collective action. In the words of the organisers, the summit shows how climate change can’t be a reason for communities to become divided, but instead we must unite to make change.
As well as opportunities to network and enjoy performances, attendees took part in a variety of breakout rooms which included; Panel discussions on the role of Faith Groups in Climate justice; Skills training workshops on climate and environmental activism; and dialogue sessions on Mental Health & Well-being and one’s personal relationship with the environment.
Mashiyath Qurashy, member of the Faith & Belief Forum’s Youth Council and one of the Summit organisers, said:
“Through dialogue, dance and song, the Summit directly confronts the individualism that has taken over modern life and the climate agenda. We will learn how different groups use their community to organise sustainable initiatives, and how different group practices can unite to create large-scale change. The Summit brings together smaller community units to create a new larger community. As a result, challenging climate change through a Summit moves the conversation away from individual action to collective action.”
Phil Champain, Director of the Faith & Belief Forum, said:
“What we need most to tackle climate change effectively is global solidarity towards the needs of different people. Coming together across different faiths and beliefs is an important contribution to building this solidarity. This event demonstrates to all of us how young people of different faith and belief identities, with different ideas and perspectives, with different skills and experiences, can connect and collaborate on something that affects us all.”
A full list of panellists and sessions can be found here: https://faithbeliefforum.org/summit23
Photos by Sabrina Fearon-Melville
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