CIVIC AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Networking for Sustainability
Achieving sustainability, particularly climate change mitigation and adaptation, requires action on social and economic sustainability. My guiding idea is that what works for one place may not work for the other. I strive to bring stakeholders in civil society-- used in the broadest sense of the term to include decentralized state and non-state actors-- together to fill in the details of what works within particular places and spaces. These stakeholders include NGOs, academics, politicians, businesses, professionals and state actors. We build collaborations to drive community sustainability. I endlessly seek partnerships to this end.
I am or have been affiliated with many organizations that have shaped my leadership and community work one way or the other. I am currently a Senator of the University of British Columbia, First Director of Holistic Sustainable Development Network International (previously Worldwide Holistic Sustainable Development Cooperation at Memorial University's Grenfell Campus) and Director of Human Dignity Foundation. Also, I co-founded and have coordinated the Liu Institute Network for Africa at the University of British Columbia. Previously, I served as Member of the Senior Leadership Team and an appointed Co-Chair of the Governance Committee of the University of Calgary Graduate Students' Association, Pro Bono Lawyer with the Women's Law Clinic at the University of Ibadan, elected President of the Nigerian Youth Service Corps' Band and elected Chief Whip of the Students' Representative Council of the Nigerian Law School. I also served as appointed Chair of the Organizing Committee of the First Chief Wole Olanipekun (Senior Advocate of Nigeria) National Moot Competition, appointed Lead Counsel and later Coach for the Justice Amina Augie of the Supreme Court of Nigeria Moot Competition, appointed Chair of Law Debate Committee, elected Principal Liaison Officer of the Law Students’ Society, and founder/coordinator of the Law Students' Society Group Tutorials at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife. Further, I have volunteered for media outlets, including programmes on Vancouver Cooperative FM Radio in Canada and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria's Amuludun FM in Nigeria.
I have used my diverse engagements and relationships to promote aspects of sustainability. I currently focus on environmental and social sustainability.
You can read the summary of some of my current projects below. To learn more, the projects are under the Engagement and Leadership tab. The links below will lead you to my top two projects: Community Sustainability Global and Liu Institute Network for Africa.
COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY GLOBAL
I brought together Human Dignity Foundation (an NGO that promotes humanitarian projects) in Nigeria and Holistic Sustainable Development Network International (an NGO that promotes sustainability practices across developing countries) in Canada to implement the project. The project partners with start-ups to train local people on sustainable business skills and teach them about other aspects of sustainability, including environmental, social and health.The project started in Africa, but the plan is to expand to indigenous communities elsewhere.
TIE-DYE IN NIGERIA: PHASE 1 OF THE COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY GLOBAL PROJECT
The first phase of the Community Sustainability Global project has partnered with Adireseyi Enterprises Ltd (a start-up that specializes in tie and dye) in Nigeria to teach tie and dye skills in Africa. Staff of Adireseyi train senior secondary school students and other community members how to make tie and dye as well as how the production and supply chain work in the business. Trainees are learning to compete fairly in today’s challenging job market while learning about sustainability and promoting tie and dye as an African art.
LIU INSTITUTE NETWORK FOR AFRICA
Realizing the inadequate presence of Africa and the dearth of information about Africa (and sometimes the availability of distorted information) in many parts of Canada, I co-founded the Liu Institute Network for Africa (with Tebogo T Leepile, a PhD student at UBC) to be a platform for brainstorming global issues as affecting Africa and African issues as affecting the world. The network is also a one-stop point for information on Africa; facilitates networking for those who may want to carry out research in Africa; and runs a mentorship programme for those that want to learn more about or connect more with Africa or Africans. There are currently 70 members, including graduate students, postgraduate and post-doctoral fellows, professors and other university officials. The network operates through oral (conferences, seminars, etc), written (working papers, periodic volumes, etc), outreach (visits, excursions, etc) and other innovative forms. We also hope to advocate for an African institute at UBC and partner with other organizations for projects.
SUSTAINABILITY MEDIA BROADCAST
I have been speaking about sustainability issues at public, non-academic venues, with the aim to reach as many people as possible. These venues include community gatherings, pubs and radio stations.
My earliest public media talks were at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria's Amuludun FM Station in 2014. I was in panels that discussed socio-economic rights and the welfare of children.
More recently, I spoke at the Research in the Pub Event at Calgary on 17 January 2017. My talk was about the Alberta royalty review and its implications for sustainability.
Just in 2018, I then joined the African Vibes Collective on Vancouver Coop Radio. I was first invited as a guest to speak about the Liu Institute Network for Africa on 11 November 2018, and later to speak about climate change in Africa while the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was ongoing at Katowice, Poland, on 9 December 2018. My last invited talk in March 2019 was about Agenda 2063 for sustainable development. The African Vibes collective is a solid platform for broadcasting and sensitizing on sustainability matters affecting Canada and Africa. I am very grateful to be a member.