21st Century Citizenship

Rising to the Challenge

Dr. Alaa Murabit talks Citizenship with Mayor Charlie Clark

You can watch the event here.

Read the Star Phoenix article about the event here.

Here’s a quotation from the article:

Mixed in with the in-depth conversations were moments that seemed to genuinely shock the crowd, especially when Murabit said the most cost-effective way to help prevent climate change is women’s reproductive health and education — one of the ground-level issues that Murabit backed up with research.

Please share you thoughts, questions and insights about today’s topic in the comments below

“How can we bring more consensus to the discussion related to climate change?”

The question was simple in its structure, but complex in its implications. Dr. Alaa Murabit responded to this query with another question. She asked the audience, “What is the most cost-effective and practical solution for climate change?” As expected, students provided the answers of renewable energy, nuclear energy, and such. Dr Murabit nods in partial agreement to the responses, but speaks up to exclaim the answer to be girl’s education and women’s reproductive rights. This answer baffled the audience. Murabit elaborates on her point by explaining how educating girls will lead to a later marriage, thus less children. With less mouths to feed at the table, less energy is used. By educating girls, women are also able to reinvest into their community with sustainable jobs. In fact, Murabit states that employed women reinvest about 90% into their community. She also clarifies her answer by stating that she does not believe in one child policies, and instead truly stands by the idea that in order for us to mitigate, we are never going to use less energy if the population continues to grow the way it does.

“I take pride in my pursuit to become a global leader within the United Nations, especially in the sector of environmentalism.”

Climate change is presumed to be an issue with a straightforward solution that involves scientific methods of renewable energy. However, Murabit brings out a valid point of a woman’s valuable role within a society and economy that is striving for sustainability. A woman’s progressive stride in a society only enables for a stronger cycle of sustainability, even within the environment. Murabit states the following when discussing her concern about the involvement of politics in the pursuit of seeking environmental change:

“I get very frustrated when we go to X,Y, and Z, and we haven’t even talked about the ABC’s.”

This simple line made me wonder about how often we jump too far ahead when looking for solutions to drastic issues such as climate change. With terms like carbon tax, being thrown around, it is easy to be distracted by its complex involvement within politics. We are distracted from the immediate threats of climate change, and more sustainable solutions are being pushed aside. We need to recognize that we have an entire alphabet, before we even get to the X, Y, and Z of any problem.

In the span of one hour, Dr. Murabit was able to teach a fresh perspective on the issue of climate change. I learned that as a young minority woman, I am not restricted to pursue a positive change in a society where industrialized principles have overshadowed the beauty of earth’s natural environment. Like Dr Alaa Murabit, who is a young, Muslim woman, I must take pride in my identity and be a voice to those like me in order to put in effect, the change I want to see in the world. Climate change is not a simple concern to be dealt with, but with the fresh perspective of young leaders such as Murabit, who continue to inspire, we will soon find a solution to these concerns.



2 thoughts on “21st Century Citizenship

  1. vanhesterens

    I can’t wait for this event! When Dr. Murabit was a grade 9 student at Evan Hardy Collegiate, I wonder if she had any idea that someday not too far into the future she’d return to EHCI as an internationally-renowned leader. I’m sure that the conversation among students, Dr. Murabit, and Mayor Charlie Clark will provoke and inspire.


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