Newsletter: May 2024

Newsletter: May 2024

May 30, 2024 –

A Message from our President

I heard a dreadful figure recently: nearly half of Canadian newsrooms have only white journalists on staff. And while there is no current data for staff photographers, estimates suggest less than 8% are Black, Indigenous or People of Colour.

Canada’s diverse population, and their stories, deserve more than just a white perspective. To authentically tell stories, we need to share them through the lenses of those they belong to. So, we are partnering with the non-profit group Room Up Front to support diversity in photojournalism.

Room Up Front received the Special Recognition Citation at the 2023 National Newspaper Awards for their ground-breaking mentorship program that advances BIPOC photojournalists in their career. Working together, we will bring more diversity to Canadian news reporting. As project leader Jimmy Jeong says, “People with diverse experiences and ways of seeing can only help strengthen our newsrooms.”

We’re starting with a mentorship program to coach new BIPOC photojournalists and support them as they share environmental, poverty and Indigenous-focused stories. From featuring the voices of communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, to highlighting the relationship of BIPOC urban youth with nature, every one of these stories will feature a unique lens and world view.

We cannot wait to share some of their work with you.

– Burkhard



Welcome, Nell!

We are delighted to welcome Nell Sykes as Project Assistant for the summer of 2024. Nell is a student in Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto – reflecting her interest in the intersection between equitable social governance and sustainable climate action. Nell’s experience working in sustainable agriculture, food waste management and international research informs and complements her professional interests and passion for protecting the environment.

Outside of work, Nell enjoys many hobbies, including: hiking, camping, running, field hockey, watercolour painting, gardening and reading.

Partner Post: Saving the Forks of the Credit

On Saturday, June 8th our community will be one of many hosting a Day of Action to protect our natural spaces. Please join us in the hamlet of Cataract, ON around 11:30am for a march to the main intersection near the proposed mega quarry lands, followed by food and fun in Cataract. We are thankful to our supporters for their excellent suggestions that led to this Day of Action!

To keep the momentum going, from June 8th to 16th, visitors to the area can enjoy a self guided Passport through the Heart of the Headwaters. Drive to beautiful spots in our community, learn more about what we are fighting to protect, send a message to MPP Sylvia Jones and be entered in a draw for prizes! If you’re unable to join but still want to show your support, please consider donating through our crowdfunding campaign.

A huge thank you to all of our supporters over the years – we couldn’t do this without you!

– Debra Wilson, Forks of the Credit Preservation Group

A Just Transition Off Oil and Gas in Newfoundland and Labrador

Did you know that Newfoundland and Labrador is the third largest producer of fossil fuels in Canada? Alongside several partners, we are working on a community-based, worker-led and government-supported transition away from the oil and gas industry for the province. Earlier this month, Small Change Fund team member Abbie Branchflower travelled to St John’s, NL for a conference organized by Mixed Coast Collective. The three days were spent learning from key stakeholders, brainstorming solutions and showing up in solidarity for environmental and social justice in the province.

World Green Roof Day

World Green Roof Day is coming up on June 6th! To celebrate, our partners at Green Roof Infrastructure Network of BC (GRIN) will release the first phase of our project together: Mapping Vancouver’s Green Roofs and their Retrofit Potential. Using current, high resolution satellite maps, we are identifying vulnerabilities such as urban heat, flooding, and pollution and, more importantly, opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure solutions in Vancouver.

Project Introductions

A few of our projects recently launched crowdfunding pages. Check them out through the links below!

  • Building a Better Movement for Transit Riders in Vancouver – to build a grassroots effort to elevate the voice of transit riders in Vancouver. In partnership with Movement.
  • Seniors Climate Day of Action – to build a nationwide community of seniors to create a liveable future, centered around a Day of Action on October 1st, National Seniors Day. In partnership with Seniors For Climate.
  • The Fairy Creek Film – to support post-production and a robust impact campaign for an in-depth feature documentary following the Fairy Creek blockade.

Small News Bites

  • In January, we introduced Sophia Young as the Edmonton Consultant for Get on the Bus. We are delighted to share that Sophia has expanded her work with us for the summer, taking on the additional role of Program Coordinator. Sophia recently gave a powerful TEDx talk about her experience as a youth transit advocate and was just announced as a winner of the National Youth Climate Activism Award. Congratulations, Sophia!
  • Along with the Gen Dread team, we are excited to share the launch of “The Climate Therapist.” This advice column provides professional guidance from climate-mental health professionals.

As always, a sincere thank you to all of our partners, donors and supporters – you play a critical role in helping us bring about positive change. We hope you are enjoying the May flowers!


The Small Change Fund Team

P.S. Your donation directly to Small Change Fund allows us to keep improving services and supports to help more grassroots projects succeed nationwide. Thank you for helping make change!