This podcast featuring Riven Thorne, Curtis Carmichael, Charlotte Clarke and Aliénor Rougeot, problematizes conceptions of youth leadership and offers insight into the depth, breadth and promise of youth civic engagement, community organizing and youth activism. The speakers name many of the challenges that young people face as leaders and provide insights for both youth and adults in supporting the conditions for youth voice, agency and activism. They also share ideas on how youth leadership can inform traditional notions of teaching, learning and leading. Click here for all episodes in the series.
About The Speakers
Riven Thorne is a transgender person and youth advocate whose been working with LGBTQ2S youth, people who use drugs and youth with disabilities for two years. They are passionate about equity and justice, spoken word poetry, and fostering community in the spaces he occupies. Riven has been working as a peer harm reduction worker, primarily doing drug and safer sex education for youth and mental health service providers for the last year and a half.
Curtis Carmichael is a Keynote Speaker, STEM educator, cross Canada cyclist (Sponsored by Specialized Canada) and the founding force behind Ride for Promise – a nationwide movement cycling across Canada. Raised in poverty, he channeled his entrepreneurial skills, hustling lifestyle and focus on self-education to become a trailblazer.
Leading a successful $100,000 fundraising campaign, his grassroots movement is featured in the award-winning documentary Ride for Promise. As a respected speaker, Curtis has delivered engaging presentations across Canada and has appeared on CBC National, City News and Global News. He has received several prestigious awards including the USPORTS National Russ Jackson Award, Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces National Citizenship Award & the City of Toronto Spirit of Sport Diversity and Inclusion Award. Curtis is most driven by topics focusing on social change, leadership, overcoming adversity and digital equity.
Charlotte is a Mi’kmaw (meeg-maw) and Innu (een-ou) creator, protector, and advocate. She is from a small community in Unama’ki (oon-ah-mah-ghee), Nova Scotia called Mekaqanji’jk (mehg-ahq-an-jee-jig) where she spent summers learning traditional ways of life from her grandparents. She currently lives here in the GTA, working within the community to facilitate workshops and presentations for students and staff to learn more about Indigenous culture and history as well as helping with and participating in local events to support various social justice movements, most pertaining to Indigenous and land rights. Her work centers around keeping her culture and language alive and passing on ancestral knowledge to younger generations, as well as raising awareness around the barriers that Indigenous communities face. Charlotte is also an avid beadworker and sewer, drawing inspiration from the rough waters and wind-blown landscape of her homelands as well as ancestral patterns and designs to create traditional and contemporary regalia.
Aliénor, or Allie, Rougeot has been an environmental and human rights activist since she was about 10 years old. Having grown up in a gorgeous part of France, surrounded by nature’s beauty, she has learned to cherish the Earth and all its beings and has also wanted to protect it. She is now a climate justice activist, working on-campus at the University of Toronto and off-campus as the coordinator of the youth climate strikes, Fridays for Future, in the GTA. Climate justice matters to her deeply because it is an intersection of environmental rights and human rights, as it is no mystery that not all communities are equally responsible for the ecological crisis, nor equally affected. She hopes, through speaking, organizing rallies and lobbying, to advocate for a just and inclusive transition towards a more sustainable lifestyle for all. As she is now 20 years old, her focus is increasingly on empowering other younger people to become activists too and allow their voices to be heard.
Written by Noor El-Husseini