Newsletter: February 2023

Newsletter: February 2023

MARCH 01, 2023

A Message from our President

I have three daughters in their early to mid-twenties who are all quite engaged in what they do. They grew up with environmental advocates as parents, and in raising them, their mom and I agreed to talk about green issues in a positive light only: about all the good that’s happening and what further change is possible. As parents, we strove to avoid the doom-and-gloom that is so often the headline when it comes to environmental issues.

Yet, my daughters heard and saw the doom and gloom anyways – particularly around climate change. As their dad I’ve seen their anxiety and fear about the future. Not always directly, but in subtle and delicate ways.

Youth mental health in the climate crisis is a new area for Small Change Fund, but one we are quite keen to address and one in which I have a very personal stake.



On the Frontlines of a Global Crisis

The climate crisis makes headlines daily with floods, wildfires, heatwaves and more. But there’s a related concern, often overlooked, with a disproportionate impact on our youth. Pioneering research by Dr. Britt Wray uncovered a looming mental health crisis related to climate and environmental issues, resulting in widespread feelings of anxiety, despair and hopelessness among young people globally. Dr. Wray’s 2021 study across ten countries revealed that 45% of youth experience a negative impact in their daily life and functioning due to eco-distress and concerns about climate change.

People across global mental health, climate and other fields are rallying to address this burden carried by our young people. We are proud to partner with Dr. Wray and her team to bring this emerging research — and the climate emergency behind it — the awareness and action it urgently needs. Help us
support this critical work today.


Meet the Team

Britt Wray, PhD is an author and researcher working at the forefront of climate change and mental health. Her latest book, Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis, is an impassioned generational perspective on how to stay sane amid climate disruption and was named a finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Award.
Britt is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and at the London School of Medicine’s Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health. Britt has advised the Canadian Federal Ministers, the US State Department and multiple Fortune 500 companies on the topics of climate and mental health.

Anis Annisa Maryam was born in Bandung, Indonesia. Annisa started her career in the bustling art scene of Indonesia and upon moving to Vancouver in 2018 was immediately pulled into the fascinating intersection of nonprofit organizations and the arts community. Annisa works alongside Dr. Britt Wray as an engagement producer, designing and distributing digital content for the weekly Generation Dread newsletter. She also creates social media posts for Dr. Wray’s work.


Sophie Kohn is a writer and comedian whose most meaningful experiences have happened outdoors. Sophie has written for Ecojustice and many CBC shows including George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and q with Tom Power. She’s now a humour writing instructor at Second City and the founder of Brave New Word, a therapeutic writing workshop that helps people write their way through painful and disorienting life events. Sophie works with Dr. Britt Wray as an engagement producer, offering readers coping strategies and stories to help youth move through various forms of ecological grief.


Gathering to Protect the Greenbelt – Sold Out Event!

On March 2nd, we are holding a fundraising celebration with our partners at Water Watchers to benefit Ontario Greenbelt protection. The event will be hosted at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen by Canadian singer/songwriter and environmental activist Sarah Harmer. Tickets to the event are now sold out but you can still donate to support this critical cause. Check out our next newsletter for more on this event!

Projects Update

We will be pausing new project intakes until mid-June to give us time to implement our exciting new Digital Strategy.

Small News Bites

  • What’s funny about climate change? We’re glad you asked! Keep your eyes peeled for The Climate Retort – an exciting new project from Small Change Fund. If you are laughing, you are
  • This month we celebrated another victory related to our work with our partners at MakeWay to protect old growth forest in B.C.
  • Last week, the Broadbent Institute published a report on climate activism. Two founders of our Climate HUB were involved in the study. Click here for Tom Liacas’ overview.
  • A recent report demonstrates that there’s more than enough land to meet housing needs in Ontario – without cutting up the Greenbelt. Check out this press release from our partners at the
    Alliance for a Liveable Ontario for more.

As always, a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of our supporters and partners.
We hope you had a fabulous February and wish you a marvelous March to come!

The Small Change Fund Team