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Severn Cullis-Suzuki

Severn Cullis-Suzuki

Who’s the Revolutionary? How do we Want to Change the World?

Date Recorded: Oct 10th, 2006
Recorded At: Universtiy of Alberta’s Revolutionary Speakers’ Series, Edmonton, Alberta,
Recorded By: CJSR 88FM
Duration: 0:59:15  

Topic Background

Loss of Biodiversity; Climate Change and Global Warming; Genetically Engineered Food; Pollution; Fossil Fuels; Nuclear Energy and Waste; Acid Rain; Habitat Loss; Species at Risk; Commodification of Water..these terms have become hauntingly familiar to Canadians in the last decade, as the drive to live sustainably within our physical, social, and economic environments becomes a primary goal for many North Americans.

Severn Cullis-Suzuki has been considering these issues, in greater and less complexity, since she was nine years old. She was taught by her parents, Geneticist David Suzuki and Harvard Instructor Tara Elizabeth Cullis, that if you care about something, you need to raise your voice. At age 9, Cullis- Suzuki started the Environmental Children’s Organization, a group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. They were successful in raising enough money to appear at 1992 ‘s Earth Summit in Rio De Juanero, and 12-year-old Severn received a standing ovation for a speech she made to the delegates. She has continued to speak around the world about environmental issues, urging listeners to redefine their values, to act with the future in mind, to take individual responsibility, and to listen to children and youth. She is also passionate about encouraging young people to speak out for their future.

Speaker Biography

Severn Cullis-Suzuki is an environmental and social justice youth activist from Vancouver. An accomplished television host and presenter, Severn has appeared and participated in many programs in Canada, the U.S., and Britain. Most recently she was the host of Suzuki’s NatureQuest, a children’s television series which aired internationally in 2002. She has written numerous articles on environmental issues for magazines and newspapers, and has published a book with Doubleday called Tell the World. From 1997 to 2001 Severn served as a Commissioner for the UN’s Earth Charter, a document that strives to serve as a code of ethics for human conduct towards our resources, our planet, and each other. In 2000, she cycled across Canada with some friends in a campaign for clean air called Powershift 2000.Severn has worked closely with native peoples of British Columbia and the Amazon towards protecting forests threatened by unsustainable logging.

With a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University, Cullis-Suzuki is working on her masters in Ethnobotany at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. As an Action Canada Fellow (part of a leadership-building program), she is currently putting together a book about Canadian youth who are making positive changes in their communities.

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