Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability


9:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m.
Location: Damen MPR North and South
Moderator: Janet Sisler, vice president for mission integration at Loyola University Chicago

Join our keynote speakers with their mentors to discuss how motivated youth and adults can work together to leverage each other’s experience, connections, and resources in the fight for a sustainable planet. Learn how these mentors helped clarify the activists’ message and increase the impact of their ideas and how these activists have inspired their mentors. Following the moderated conversation, we would like to hear your input and your questions surrounding the intergenerational effort that is needed to combat climate change.


10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. 

Location: Damen MPR North and South
Moderator: Kalyani Robbins, professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago 

The effects of global climate change are not equally distributed around the world, nor in our communities. Many of the communities least responsible experience the effect of climate change in human costs - weather, economic hardships, and migration patterns, among others. This panel will discuss the relationship between climate change, race, migration, and the current efforts to bring these important intersections to the frontline of climate change advocacy.


2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
Location: Damen MPR North and South
Moderator: Thomas Aláan, countertenor and program coordinator for the UIC Energy Initiative

The massive scientific knowledge about climate change and its potentially catastrophic consequences generated in recent decades have largely failed to translate into effective policies or cultural change. What role might art play in bridging this gap? How can photography, dance, music, and other artistic forms help audiences comprehend climate change and the necessity of acting to minimize its consequences?  The artists on this panel will present examples of their work and reflect on their aspirations for it.


  • Meredith Leich, visual artist, lecturer at Loyola University Chicago
  • Kirsten Hedegaard, musician, director of choral and vocal activities and advanced lecturer at Loyola University Chicago
  • Sandra Kaufmann, dance, founding director of the dance program at Loyola University Chicago

3:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m. 
Location: Damen MPR North and South
Moderator: Dr. Michael Schuck, environmental ethicist at Loyola University Chicago

Chicago youth are leading climate action in inspiring ways that acknowledge the intersection of environmental, economic, and racial justice. In this panel, young environmental activists from distinct cultural contexts speak to the impacts of climate change on their communities, what motivates them to advocate for climate justice, and how they build power towards systemic change for a more just and sustainable world.


  • Toni Anderson, founder of Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab and the Where I Stand Collaborative Action Initiative 
  • London Gillespie, SKY Council member, 10th Grade/Kenwood Academy
  • Karizma Blackburn, SKY Council alum, and 2018 Where I Stand Attendee - College Sophomore/Columbia College 


This year's conference will be plenary style, so all participants will have the chance to enjoy all of our panels. 

Climate Strike Dance for Change