Climate Justice Symposium

Executive Summary:

Institutional Climate Action (ICA) ( proposes a Climate Justice Festival to collectively engage the UW Community in climate justice in the face of catastrophic climate change. We plan to hold the event in Red Square where the maximum number of student groups and community members can participate. The Festival is projected to cost $3,650, and we are asking CSF for these funds due to the event’s emphasis on sustainability, climate action, and long-term collective behavior change.

Additional Background:

ICA is a collaborative activism group founded in October 2019. Our purpose is to promote climate and sustainability-related action through coordinated and collective grassroots organizing. Through collective organizing across most higher education institutions in the Seattle-Tacoma region, we will push our public institutions to model the sustainable and just transition that is required for society to confront the climate crisis.

ICA has a flexible and decentralized organizational structure. While we are primarily organized in groups by institution, with the UW-Seattle subgroup being the group applying for funding, all members across campus meet regularly to coordinate activism efforts across institutions. At UW-Seattle, ICA is in the process of registering as an RSO, with the following officer positions: Co-Directors (Catrin Wendt and Hemalatha Velappan), Treasurer (Peter Fink), Secretary (Anna Humphreys), Sustainability Officer (Christoph Straus), and Outreach Coordinator (Esaac Mazengia).

Student Involvement:

UW students are the target audience for the Festival. ICA is presenting an opportunity for students to meaningfully engage with the climate justice community by learning about climate justice, sustainability, and other essential topics for creating a better world. Students will take away inspiration, connections, and momentum to continue their involvement with climate justice in a meaningful way.

Student volunteers are the foundation of ICA and the Climate Justice Festival. Just a few months into our existence, and solely by word of mouth, dozens of UW students are involved in ICA and enthusiastic about helping with the Festival. The months leading up to the Climate Justice Festival provide opportunities for existing members to continue to identify and recruit student volunteers. Publicizing the event will further allow us to engage with new student participants.

Volunteer positions for this event include:

Project Planning:

  • Teach-in outreach and organization
  • Outreach and publicity team
  • Social media
  • Press
  • Bake sale coordinator
  • Art build
  • Spatial logistics
  • Accessibility planning
  • Mapping

Event Organizers (day-of support):

  • Area Leads
  • Setup/cleanup
  • Runners
  • Peacekeepers,
  • Teach-in Coordinators
  • Art Coordinators
  • Press
  • Media liaison
  • Social media

Education & Outreach:


We will employ a variety of strategies to spread awareness about the Climate Justice Festival. These strategies include but are not limited to:

Social media

  • Send Facebook event invites to our affiliate organizations during the first week of spring quarter
  • Post weekly about the Festival on ICA’s Facebook and Twitter beginning the first week of Spring quarter
  • Ask our social media community via direct message and personal interactions to share the event

Campus Publicity

Begin posting the first week of Spring quarter; engage our volunteers in weekly flyering events. Locations for flyers include:

  • Buildings in relevant departments (Health Sciences, College of the Environment, Human Centered Design and Engineering, etc.)
  • Husky Union Building
  • Libraries
  • Cafeterias and common spaces

Sidewalk chart art throughout UW campus the week of the Festival with brief, colorful information

Coalition Building

 ICA’s Coalition Building team is presently reaching out to existing groups on UW campus. As these efforts continue, we will engage our affiliate organizations in publicizing our event.We will invite existing climate justice and other relevant organizations to volunteer and participate in the event.

In-Class Announcements

We will reach out via email to professors of classes related to climate change, environmental issues, and social change. With permission, ICA members will make a quick announcement at the start or end of a class the week of the Festival.


Send announcements to department listservs, including ASUW, GPSS, and CSF.

UW media

  • Submit a blurb for the and relevant departmental websites.
  • Press release for and purchase advertising in The Daily, UW Today, and UWTV
  • Invite on-campus journalists to attend a meeting/event and write a story about climate justice and ICA, highlighting the upcoming Festival.


              Education is a major focus of the Festival. Attendees will be encouraged to participate in teach-ins on topics that may include:

  • Climate Justice 101
  • Self-Care in the Climate Crisis
  • Seattle’s Green New Deal
  • Campus Sustainability at UW
  • Art and Activism
  • Songs for the Movement

We will educate attendees about how to get involved with climate action, both on and off campus. Climate justice organizations will be present with information and materials about how to sign on. We will encourage people to commit attending at least one meeting with one organization after the festival.

This event will provide an important foundation for behavior change: students will emerge from the Festival with a plan to get involved in climate action in a way that speaks to them.

From ICA’s modeling of sustainability at the event, using low-and no-waste principles, affiliate and attending organizations will have a framework to reduce waste in future events of their own.


Teach-in workshops will take a variety of formats and may include: an interactive display paired with discussion, games, whiteboard or chalk brainstorms, or open discussion. They will be organized so students can join at any point in the session. Workshop facilitators will have backgrounds in working with students or facilitating large groups of people so they can comfortably navigate the dynamic nature of these workshops. Workshops will be short and will repeat to maximize the ability for student participation.

Use of Space

The PA system and keynote speaker space will be at the top of the first set of stairs on the northern side of the Square. A half hour before the speaker’s presentation, we will set out 25 chairs for people who wish to sit. Other attendees will stand.

The Art Build tent will be erected in the middle of the square, and provide a dynamic activity for people to participate in on their way between the tabling and bake sale tents (with 5-8 tents, depending on the number of tablers) and the workshop space (2 tents). Art will be displayed throughout the Square, and signs and sidewalk chalk will give directions for when and where events are taking place.

Environmental Impact:
  • Waste
  • Environmental Justice
  • Community Development
  • Cultural Representation
  • Social Justice
Project Longevity:

While our mission of inspiring students to fight for climate-preserving changes at the institutional level will continue, the proposed Climate Justice Festival is a one-time event that will not need additional funding.

Environmental Problem:

Change, especially climate-preserving and sustainable changes, must occur beyond the individual. While many resources exist to educate and inspire individuals to make sustainable changes in the face of catastrophic climate change, fewer resources exist to inspire and teach people to demand change of larger institutions and companies. ICA exists to address this barrier to lasting sustainability by first engaging students, staff, and faculty through events such as our proposed Climate Justice Festival. Once the UW community is engaged and familiar with the ICA mission, we will train budding activists to participate in peaceful activism events, coordinated to coincide with similar events at multiple campuses in the greater Seattle area.


Explain how the impacts will be measured:

We will measure the impacts of the Climate Justice Festival by monitoring community engagement. We will measure the engagement level of the UW community by monitoring participation at the festival (student and student club turn-out), and monitor sign-ups to our ICA newsletter. Alongside these engagement markers, we will be active across social media and will use engagement metrics offered by each social platform. Structure tests, which measure the ability to organize activists, will be conducted prior to and following our Climate Justice Festival to measure our ability to engage the UW community in climate justice.

Total amount requested from the CSF: $3,650
This funding request is a: Grant
If this is a loan, what is the estimated payback period?:


ItemCost per ItemQuantityTotal Cost
Keynote speaker100011000
Workshop facilitators and materials15071050
Red Square rental (150-250 people)7501750
Art building supplies1501750
Printing flyers.50400200
UW Daily 1/2 page ad5001 500

Non-CSF Sources:

Project Completion Total:


Timeline for Climate Justice Festival
TaskTimeframeEstimated Completion Date
Contact student groups and invite them to participate in the eventJanuary - February 20202/29/20
Develop teaching plans and materials for teach-in workshopsFebruary - March 20203/31/2020
Conduct research on equipment rentals and vendors (for AV and tent rental)February 20202/15/2020
Amplify social media presenceFebruary - March 2020Ongoing
Place deposit for equipment and space rental (Upon receipt of funding) April 20204/5/2020
Social media campaignApril-May 20205/8/2020
Train volunteersApril 20204/21/2020
Check in with participating student groups regarding progress and any additional needsApril 20-30, 20204/30/2020
Walk the Red Square space with event volunteers and participants to visually stage the area; final volunteer trainingMay 2, 20205/2/2020

Project Approval Forms: