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Notes from Canada's Young Activists

A Generation Stands Up for Change

by Suzuki Cullis; Kris Frederickson; Cynthia MacKenzie & Ahmed Kayssi
with Daniel Aldana Cohen
foreword by Dr Samantha Nutt

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social activists, volunteer work
list price: $21.95
also available: Paperback
published: 2007
publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
imprint: Greystone Books

In this compilation, young citizens describe the moments they were inspired to pursue their passions to improve their world. Their methods and causes are diverse, and their stories highlight their innovative ways of identifying and addressing problems in society. The achievements here are impressive, from Craig Kielburger's founding of Free the Children to raise awareness of child labor to Lyndsay Poaps becoming the youngest elected official in Vancouver history. These stories counter the myth of youth as self-absorbed slackers, presenting a bracing new generation of activist leaders.

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Editorial Reviews

"Inspiring essays by 25 idealistic young Canadians who reveal what motivated them to take action to try to change the world. Though their causes are diverse, each of these young leaders shares themes of a sustainable, just future, and each rejects the idea that nothing needs to be done and nothing can be done."

— Globe & Mail

"The stories are for the most part provocative and...even well written. They cumulatively make a declaration of hope in the social and political potential of eccentric human initiative that is refreshing at a time when we are exposed every day to such a bath of collective worrying about the climate."

— Globe & Mail

"There is no mistaking the infectious energy, creativity, and enthusiasm that mark this anthology, an antidote to an age marked by cynicism and perceived powerlessness."

— Quill & Quire
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About the Authors

Suzuki Cullis

Severn Cullis-Suzuki has been an outspoken environmental and social activist since she was a child. At the age of nine, she founded ECO, the Environmental Children's Organization. Three years later, she and other members of ECO attended the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, a UN conference addressing the fate of the world's natural resources, where she delivered a powerful plenary speech that was later turned into her first book, Tell the World. Shortly after, at the age of thirteen, she was awarded the United Nations Environment Programme's Global 500 award. She graduated with a BS in ecology and evolutionary biology from Yale and is pursuing a graduate degree in ethnobotany at the University of Victoria. She also co-founded the Skyfish Project, an Internet-based think tank that encourages youth to speak out for their future and adopt a sustainable lifestyle.
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Kris Frederickson

Kris Frederickson is a proud Metis from Stonewall, MB, who holds BSc and MSc degrees in biosystems engineering from the University of Manitoba where he researched water treatment techniques for Aboriginal communities. He has spoken frequently to Aboriginal youth about pursuing post-secondary education. He holds a Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award, a National Metis Youth Role Model award, and a prestigious National Aboriginal Achievement Award, which he earned in 2004. Kris currently works as a water management engineer and co-chairs 2335, an initiative of the United Way of Calgary.
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Cynthia MacKenzie

Cynthia Mackenzie is a passionate human rights activist who is currently pursuing her doctorate in political science in Melbourne, Australia. She has worked on human rights projects around the world, from sex-worker outreach in Calgary and refugee advocacy in Vancouver to community development in India and Costa Rica and urban environmental projects in Cuba. She has been actively involved in Canada's public policy debate with Canada25 and for her work, Volunteer Calgary named her a Leader of Tomorrow and Maclean's has called her one of Canada's 100 Faces of the Future.
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Ahmed Kayssi

Ahmed Kayssi holds dual bachelor's degrees in engineering chemistry and business German and is currently pursuing an MSc in physiology at Queen's University. He hopes to become a doctor and participate in the country's healthcare debate. However, as a native Iraqi who lived in Egypt and Saudi Arabia before calling Montreal home, one of his passions is to raise awareness of the place newcomers have within Canada. At his university, he founded the Arab Students Association and organized and moderated panel discussions on free speech and Canada-US relations.
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Daniel Aldana Cohen

A native of Toronto, Daniel Aldana Cohen obtained a BA in the History of Ideas and International Development Studies from McGill University in Montreal, where he was the editor of the independent student newspaper, The McGill Daily. He has raced the 800 metres at the Canadian Junior Championships, canoed into James Bay, and camped amid Inca ruins. He has lived and studied in Paris and the South of France and worked as a freelance journalist in Venezuela and Bolivia.
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Dr Samantha Nutt

Dr. Samantha Nutt is a co-founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada. She is a medical doctor with more than thirteen years of experience working in war zones. Since the beginning of her career, Dr. Nutt has focussed on providing assistance to war-affected women and children. While working at War Child Canada, the United Nations and several other non-governmental organizations, Dr. Nutt has travelled to some of the world's most violent flashpoints including Iraq, Afghanistan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Burundi, northern Uganda, Ethiopia and the Thai-Burmese border. In addition to her position at War Child Canada, Dr. Nutt is also on staff at Women's College Hospital in Toronto and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.
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