Simrit Dhillon

Simrit Dhillon is a Public Health and Psychology student in her 4B term and one of the participating Waterloo students in the Climate Connect program. Here is what she had to say about her experience.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I wanted to get involved in Climate Connect because I saw it as an opportunity to expand on the foundations I developed in a public health course examining the environmental determinants of health. I wanted to better grasp the implications of climate change from educated peers and professionals in the field, as well as get the chance to actively engage in my learning.

One thing that I’ve learned that was impactful to me is the application of geographical and racial determinants in climate justice and change, as well as the dynamics of this global concern. Through the various points brought up by my peers from all across the globe, it is clear that climate justice requires racial and accessibility justice to occur as well. Moreover, hearing the different perspectives, opinions, and experiences of my peers from other countries has helped me understand how dynamic and different the experiences of climate change are. This has clearly illustrated inequity when it comes to the environment, as well as how challenging but worthwhile it would be to try to build a larger-scale, global system to monitor and manage these types of worldwide concerns.

One of the contributions that I am proud of was helping move along the process and answering any questions that my peers had. I enjoy helping others and ensuring that the overall processes of our work is organized and meaningful. At the community level, this program helps build a sense of shared knowledge and communication between my peers and myself crafting a sense of community. I think the chance to learn from people from around the world and to gain meaningful insights into the perspectives and beliefs of other countries when it comes to climate change is valuable.

This program did not necessarily shift any of my perceptions, as I already had built a foundation in this area through courses in my field. However, it did further my knowledge and understanding, as it provided the opportunity to apply what I had learned. It's also helped me achieve goals that I had, which were to become more aware of climate-related concerns and issues, learn more about sustainability, and expand my certifications and achievements in this area.

Climate Connect is a collaboration between six universities across four continents to promote international networking across student and academic career stages, and to create space to share and learn about diverse perspectives on sustainability and how the climate crisis and responses to it are being experienced from one region to another.